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9B»itton« aitS JtUuStisti'ons 


" Qualis ab inccepto."— Hor. 




Printed by Webb and Chapman, Great Brunswick- street. 



My dear children, 

Whilst residing at Wilmington on the Delaware, 
in the United States of North America, not ex- 
pecting to return to Europe, and unwilling to solicit 
my family to rejoin me there, I was anxious to 
leave you some memorial of a parent whom in 
all probability you would never know personally. 
Under that impression I commenced the following- 
details, uninteresting except to you, who have re- 
quested me to transcribe them, that each of you 
should have a copy. 

It was not at that time, nor is it now my intention 
to vindicate the act which occasioned my then 
exiled situation ; though I felt a strong self-justifi- 
cation, in the consciousness that if I had erred, it 
had been in common with some of the most virtu- 
ous and patriotic characters then in Ireland. Yet 

I was sensible that I had been concerned in a 
a 2 




transaction for which the laws of my country would 
have not only seized on my property but taken my 
life ; and I felt no small degree of gratitude to the 
existing government of the country from which I 
had fled, for its conduct to a beloved wife and eight 
children whom I had left behind. 

In grateful recollection of the Earl of Clare, I 
take this opportunity to assert that it was by his 
influence alone, and his benevolent interference in 
their favour, that my family were permitted to re- 
tain possession of my property after my outlawry 
was completed, and that my pardon was finally 
granted after his death. 

I am convinced, however, that my pardon would 
never have been conceded at last, had it been op- 
posed by Lord Castlereagh ; to whom, though I 
owe no obligation for procuring it, I am yet much 
indebted for the attention that he paid to the 
various and intricate applications I was obliged to 
make to him, for nearly two years during which 
the necessary document remained incomplete, from 
the time of Lord Eldon's declaration that he would 
never affix the great seal to that instrument. Du- 
ring this interval Lord Castlereagh offered to place 
one of my sons in the military college at Marlow, 
and appoint him to a cavalry cadetship in the 



service of the East India Company. The objection 
of the British chancellor proved to be futile, as I 
had committed no crime in England to render it 
necessary ; and in 1806 I came to Ireland. 

Sensible of the various defects in this compila- 
tion, I have only to solicit that when it may fall 
under eyes less partial than yours, my motive for 
writing may be accepted as an apology for what I 
have written. 


Leinster-stiieet, 1826. 

[Mr. Rowan, when his life was drawing near to 
its close, committed the manuscripts to the care of 
his young friend Thomas Kennedy Lowry, Esq. 
Barrister-at-Law, accompanied with a letter stating 
that they had been composed at his leisure moments 
for the entertainment of his family and friends, with 
no intention of publication; but that in consequence 
of some facts having been misrepresented by several 
writers, he thought it only an act of justice to him- 
self to have those facts truly explained. " I have 
therefore been induced," he continues, " to request 
you to accept the manuscripts, and undertake the 
publication of them at some future time, illustrating 
them with any observations you may think neces- 


sary, which I have no doubt from my knowledge of 
your character will be done as impartially and 
fairly as I could wish, — and I know you would not 
undertake the task on any other conditions " 

That Mr. Lowry, had he undertaken the task, 
would have executed it in a manner as creditable 
to himself as accordant with Mr. Rowan's wishes, 
no one who has the pleasure of that gentleman's 
acquaintance will question. It appeared, however, 
from his correspondence with Miss Rowan on the 
subject, after Mr. Rowan's death, that it might be 
a considerable time before his professional duties 
would permit his making any great progress with 
the work ; and Miss Rowan having informed him 
that the Rev. Dr. Drummond, " one of her father's 
most respected friends," had expressed so much 
interest on the subject, that she was sure that, with 
Mr. Lowry's approval, he would undertake the 
publication immediately. Mr. Lowry at once con- 
sented; at the same time stating as his reason, 
" that he conceived the trust reposed in him by 
Mr. Rowan would be much more effectually and 
better executed in the hands of Dr. Drummond 
than if he had himself attempted it." The manu- 
scripts were accordingly placed in the hands of the 
present editor, who, though he cannot accept Mr, 



Lowry's compliment as his due, feels truly grateful 
for the courtesy and promptitude with which that 
gentleman communicated with him on the subject, 
and hopes that the task has been performed so 
• ; impartially and fairly " as to merit Mr. Lowry-'s 
approval as well as that of Miss Rowan, who, 
knowing her father's wish that the Memoir should 
be published, considered it as a sacred duty to 
have his wish fulfilled. 

The autobiography, as the reader will soon dis- 
cover, is written with great plainness and simpli- 
city, its object being merely to serve as a record of 
facts. Accordingly its author never writes for 
effect, nor indulges in sentimentality or description. 
On the contrary, he has studiously suppressed the 
warmest emotions of his heart, as if he felt asham- 
ed, or thought it beneath the dignity of his charac- 
ter, to give them expression. He could write well, 
and express himself strongly ; and, when addressing 
Mrs. Rowan, his children, or his friends, he poured 
out his thoughts with tenderness and affection — with 
warmth and gratitude. But he did not court the 
graces of style, and it was altogether repugnant to 
his taste to give a meretricious colouring to any 
transaction in which he was engaged. As to the 
additions which the Editor thought necessary to 



illustrate and complete the work, they are not writ- 
ten with the feelings of a partizan — as a friend to 
the subject of the memoir, he admits — but not as a 
flatterer or panegyrist. To General Sir George 
Cockburn he feels particularly obliged for several 
of the anecdotes recorded in the " additions and 
illustrations." Few, if any, knew Mr. Rowan 
better, or esteemed his manly character more 

Had Mr. Rowan wished to make a romance 
of his history, he had abundant materials ; for, 
of all those who took an aqtive part in the pro- 
ceedings which led to the insurrection of 1798, 
the life of none presents us with such a variety 
of incidents as that of s Rowan — the principles of 
none were more consistent, more disinterested, and 
more truly devoted to what he believed was for 
the good of Ireland. That he was precipitate, 
and embarked in projects which were inexpedient 
and impracticable, he admits and laments ; but 
no one can justly accuse him of having assumed 
the character of a patriot from motives of selfish- 
ness, cupidity, or reckless ambition.] 




Hans Hamilton of Dunlop — Doctor King's account of James 
Hamilton — Scotch Settlement in the county of Down — 
Liberality of Lord Claneboy — His "Will — Account of the 
Rowan family — Queen Anne's letter to Ormond — William 
Rowan, maternal grandfather to A. IT. Rowan — Elected a 
Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin — Declines the oaths — 
Made a Lay Fellow — Removes to England — Gawin 
Hamilton marries his daughter — A. H. Rowan born — Sent 
to school in Marylebone — Mr. Rowan appoints him his 
heir — Dies — His epitaph by Mr. Brett — Anecdote — [Ad- 
ditions by the Editor.] , , 1 


Mr. Rowan sent to "Westminster school — His political circle 
— Enters Cambridge University under the Rev. John Jebb 
— Goes to Holland with Sir John Borlase "Warren and 
Mr. Newcomb — Lands at Helvoetsluys — Visits Rotter- 
dam, Gouda, the. Hague, and Delft — Returns to Cam- 
bridge — Introduced to Sir Charles Montague — Miss Ray 
— The Duke of Manchester offers Mr. Rowan a commis- 
sion in the Huntingdon Militia, — Goes to Falmouth — En- 
ters on board the Tartar frigate as Private Secretary to 
Lord Charles Montague. — Arrives at Fayal — Interview 
with Celestine, a nun — Arrives at Charleston — North 




Briton, No. 45— Political transactions — Returns to Eng- 
land — Pecuniary embarassment — Expedients — Sells stock, 
and grows extravagant — Sixteen- string- Jack — Paper in 
the "Would," Hamilton.— [Additions.] 25 


Retrospect of a journey to Ireland during his minority — 
Matthias O'Byrne— his history — Adventure at Vauxhall 
— Introduction to Lord Lyttleton — O'Byrne's generosity 
— Suicide of a distinguished gambler — Remarkable dream, 
and death of Lord Lyttleton — Death of O'Byrne — Mr. 
Rowan visits Rouen — Holker, the first who established 
the cotton manufacture in Prance — Count O'Rourke — 
Dr. Pranklin — George Robert Pitzgerald — Anecdote — 
Major Baggs — Mr. Rowan acts as a friend to Fitzgerald 
in his duel with Baggs — Account of the hostile meeting — 
Mr. Rowan returns to Paris— [Additions.] 50 


Appointed Lieutenant-Colonel in the Portuguese army — 
Arrives in the Tagus — Marquis of Pombal banished — 
Effects of the great earthquake at Lisbon — Curiosities-^- 
Visits Pombal — dines with the Marquis — goes to Gib- 
raltar — Visits Tangiers — lends his watch-chain with a 
miniature picture to the Governor — Sails to Marseilles — 
Returns to Paris — Joins the Queen's cortege in her journey 
to Pontainbleau — Returns to England — Admirals Keppel 
and Palliser — Lord Sandwich — Gives up his commission 
— Excursion — Anecdote — Pays his addresses to Miss 
Dawson — Extract from his journal — Prench duel — Mar- 
ried in Paris, 1781 — Birth of his eldest son, Gawin Wil- 
liam Hamilton — Attends the Duchess of Manchester when 
presented to Marie Antoinette — Visit to the convent of 
Le Petit St. Cyr — Dines with the minister Le Comte De 
Vergennes — Monsieur De Limons — Anecdote 71 




Come3 to Ireland — Purchases Rathcoffey — Story of Mary 
Neal — Takes an active part in the prosecution of her ene- 
mies — Publishes a pamphlet in her behalf— -Lord Car- 
hampton— Doctor Boyton — Petition to the Lord Lieu- 
tenant — Letter to the Right Hon. Alleyne Fitzwilliam — 
Anecdote by Sir Jonah Barrington — Lines on the Castle 
gate — Trial of Sheriff Vance — Mr. Rowan assists in con- 
ducting the prosecution — Bull-baiting — Vance acquitted — 
— Rowan's opinion on the subject — Eulogy on the judge, 
the Honorable Richard Power 94 


Rise and Progress of the Irish Volunteers — Ireland's Rights 
— Molyneux — Grattan — Dungannon Meeting — Grand 
National Convention — Mr. Rowan joins his Father's Com- 
pany of Volunteers as a private — Rumours of French In- 
vasion — Intended Address to Lord Charlemont — Attends 
a Review in Belfast — Correspondence — Dr. Drennan — 
Proceedings in the County of Down — Mr. Evans — Elec- 
tioneering ballads — National Convention — Mr. Flood — 
Extract from the Life of Arthur O'Leary — Lord Kenmare 
— Major Cartwright — Two letters from Dr. John Jebb — 
[Additions.]... 112 


Elected to command the Killileagh Volunteers — Northern 
Whig Club— Dr. Haliday— Celebration of the French 
Revolution in Belfast — National Guards — Government 
prohibits the meetings of the Volunteers — Lord Charle- 
mont grieved by their proceedings — United Irishmen — 
Progress of their union — French influence — Rabaut de St. 
Etienne — Rowan accused of distributing a seditious libel 



— Affair of Tandy with Toler — Acts as second to Dowling 
in his duel with Burrows — Interview with the Lord Chan- 
cellor — Falsely accused by the Lord Advocate of Scot- 
land — Goes to Edinburgh — Arrested — Bailed — Letter of 
Colonel Macleod on duelling — Scottish Political Martyrs 
— Returns to Ireland 147 


Warrant from Judge Downes — Gives bail — Employs Cur- 
ran for his defence — Two informations against him — 
Attends the King's Bench — Trial deferred — Suspicion of 
a packed jury — Soldiers sent to his house as spies — At- 
tempt to bribe Corbally to give false witness — Brought to 
trial — Curran's celebrated speech — Found guilty, fined, 
and imprisoned — Request to the Attorney- General — Anec- 
dote of Kirwan the philosopher — Rowan's situation in 
prison — Consolatory addresses — Conversation between 
Lord Clonmel and Byrne the printer 183 


Jackson, an envoy from France — Cockaine the spy — Rowan 
copies Tone's statement of the situation of Ireland — Coc- 
kaine puts it into the post-office — his pretended examina- 
tion before the Privy Council — Rowan visited by Emmet, 
Tone, and Dowling — Plans his escape from prison — Suc- 
ceeds — Kindly received by Mr. Sweetman — Proclamation 
and reward for his apprehension — Sails from Sutton — 
Narrow escape from an English fleet — Lands on the coast 
of France — Treated as an English spy— Sent under guard 
to Brest — Lodged with Galley-slaves— Maltreated for his 
humanity to a priest— Receives consolation from a reli- 
gious book — Treated kindly by some French naval officers 
— Cause of their imprisonment — Erroneous account of the 
action between the British and French fleets on the 1st of 




June — Jean Bon St. Andre — Mr. Delahoyde — JJecomes 
known to Mr. Sullivan — Liberated from confinement — 
Accompanies Sullivan to Paris 210 


Interview with "Robespierre — Taken ill of fever — Attended ~ 
by the chief surgeon of the army — Visited by an old friend 
— Citizen Harman's generosity — Mentions Jackson's case 
— Takes lodgings — Tyranny of the French government, 
and oppression of the people — Executions by the guillo- 
tine — Great political changes — Jacobin clubs dispersed — 
Weary of Paris — Resolves to embark for America — Ob- 
tains passes to Havre — Sails down the Seine in a wherry 
— Assaulted by the alarmist Sans Culottes — Taken before 
the Mayor of Passy — Allowed to proceed — Instance of 
extraordinary honesty in the French — Reaches Rouen — 
Law of the Maximum — Mary Wollstonecraft — Engages a 
passage to America — Brought to by a British frigate — 
Interrogated by an officer — Lands in Philadelphia — Set- 
tles in Wilmington 234 


Mr. Rowan received with kindness in America — Anxious 
state of his mind — Correspondence with Mrs. Rowan and 
Major Butler — Occurrence with the Mayor of Chester — 
Parties in Philadelphia — Resides with a farmer near "Wil- 
mington — Acquires the friendship of John Dickinson, 
Caesar Rodney, and other distinguished men — Purchases 
a Calico Manufactory — Employs Aldred to manage the 
business — Removes to the banks of the Brandywine 
river — His house burned — Business declines — Factory 
broken up — Yellow fever 280 





Letter from Muir — Yellow fever — Mr. Barclay — Robert 
Morris — Rowan goes to visit the British Minister — Irish 
slaves — Visits Kosciusko — House of Congress — Ali^n 
bills — Benighted on the Delaware — Upstart aristocracy — 
Federalists and Anti-Federalists — Reception at a public 
meeting — Extract from the Porcupine Gazette — Letter to 
Cobbett, interview, and explanation — M'Comb's charac- 
ter of Porcupine — Letters from Mrs. Rowan — Her belief 
in Christianity founded on reason — Arguments for and 
against going to America — Attends lectures on chemis- 
try Her heart and her mind unchanged — Letters from 

Rowan — He wishes success to the Union — American News- 
papers — Visits Rodney in Albany — Springs of Saratoga — 
Shaking Quakers — Honesty of a Negro — Ferretting cat 
— Washington's obsequies — Dr. Priestley — Natural curi- 
osities sent to Higgins — Mode of catching wild horses. . . 3 


Mr. Griffith's sketch of a petition — Reasons for rejecting it 
—Letter from Lord Castlereagh, with permission for Mr. 
Rowan to go to Denmark — -Leaves America — embarks 
for Hamburgh — Journal of his voyage — Fellow-passengers 
— Madam Beche — Young Dane — German flute — Boarded 
by a privateer — Altercation with the captain — Sea-sick- 
ness — The two mates — Democracy, by whom stigmatized 
— Fair Hill — Arrives at Hamburgh — waits on the British 
minister — goes to Lubec — Petition to the King — O 'Byrne 
induces Mr. Steele to promote its success—Letter from 
Lord Clare — Griffith waits on Lord Pelham — Messrs. 
Fitzgerald and Byrne pardoned — Rowan's pardon under 
consideration — Letter from Mr. Steele — Allowed to reside 
in England — Lawyers' opinion that his pardon ought to 
be passed under the great seal of Ireland — Interview with 




Lord Castlereagh — Applies to the Duke of Portland for 
leave to reside in Ireland — Pleads his pardon in the King's 
Bench, Dublin — Addresses the Court 351 


Mr. Rowan returns to Ireland — His character as a landlord 
—Meeting of his tenants — Assists the silk manufacturers 
—Courted by strangers — Percy Bysshe Shelley — His cor- 
respondents — Letter from Magarot — John Hancock — 
William Poole — Caesar Rodney — Rowan's taste for poli- 
tics — Subscribes to the Catholic Association — Letter to 
Lord Fingall — Attacked in the House of Commons by 
Messrs. Dawson and Peel — Defended by Messrs. Hutch- 
inson and Brougham 380 


Rowan determines to ask an explanation from Mr. Dawson 
— proceeds to London — the affair amicably terminated by 
the instrumentality of Lord Hotham — Captain Hamilton 
dissuaded by his Admiral from challenging Mr. PeeL — 
Letter from Lord Cloncurry — George Ensor, Esq Cap- 
tain George Bryan's apology for past injurious reflections 
— American correspondence — Letters of William Poole, 
of Messrs. Robinson and Lea — Rowan cheered at a public 
meeting — his consistency — Extract from the Northern 
Whig — Justification of Samuel Neilson — Correspondence 
with Thomas Moore, Esq 414 


Rowan's generosity — falsely accused, and vindicated — Family 
afflictions — Mrs. Rowan's illness and death — Rowan sinks 
under the infirmities of age — dies — his funeral eulogy — 
^..Summary view of Ms character and pursuits — phrenologi- 
* cal developement — Conclusion 439 



Memoir of the late Captain Hamilton, R. N. C.B 461 


Letters from the late Thomas Addis Emmet and William 
Sampson to A. H. Rowan 468 


Notice respecting the Elm Tree under which "William Penn 
concluded his first Treaty with the Indians 474 

Notice of the Rev. W. D. H. M'Ewen .... 


^feuu^C <7^fo£?~ 





Hans Hamilton, of Dunlop — Doctor King's acccount of James 
Hamilton — Scotch settlement in the county of Down — Libe- 
rality of Lord Claneboy — His Will — Account of the Rowan 
family — Queen Anne's letter to Ormond — William Rowan, 
maternal grandfather to A. H. Rowan — Elected a Fellow of 
Trinity College, Dublin — Declines the oaths — Made a Lay 
Fellow — Removes to England — Gawin Hamilton marries his 
daughter — A. H. Rowan born — Sent to school in Maryle- 
bone — Mr. Rowan appoints him his heiv— P 5 ^* — Hie 
by Dr. Brett — Anecdote — [Additions by the Editor.] 

Hans Hamilton, vicar of Dunlop in Cunningham, 
Scotland, is the person from whom the Hamiltons 
of Killyleagh have their descent. It was reported 
that this Hans had been deprived of the fortunes 
to which lie was born, for having in his youth ap- 
peared in arms in favour of the unfortunate Mary 
Stuart against the Regent ; that he had been dis- 
inherited by the Scottish law, and thus thrown 
upon the world to depend on his own resources. 
Having, however, received a good early education, 




and being possessed of an excellent moral character, 
his friends recommended him to apply himself to 
the study of divinity, and he was afterwards elected 
vicar of Dunlop. He married Margaret Denham, 
a daughter of the laird of Westsheils, by whom he 
had six sons and one daughter, who married John 
Moore of Glandestone. His six sons were, first, 
James, who was created a Peer by King James I. ; 
second, Archibald, from whom I am lineally de- 
scended by the male line, and Lord Dufferin by 
the female ; third, Gawin ; fourth, John ; fifth, 
William ; and sixth, Patrick. 

Dr. King, in his " Observations on Men and 
Manners,"" gives the following account of James 
Hamilton : " During the reign of Queen Eliza- 
beth, James VI. of Scotland sent James Fullarton 
and James Hamilton, afterwards Lord Claneboye, 
to Ireland, to keep up a correspondence with the 
English nobility, and serve his interest there when 
the Queen should die. 11 These emissaries appeared 
first as schoolmasters, and among the first pupils 
Hamilton had was the Archbishop Usher. He was 
soon elected a Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin ; 
and having conducted his mission entirely to his 
sovereign's satisfaction, as soon as he ascended the 
British throne, he called James to his Privy council, 
and shortly after created him Viscount Hamilton, 
Baron Claneboye ; and according to a phrase of Lord 
Bacon, he watered the honors most plentifully with 
extensive grants of territory in Ireland, which had 
been forfeited to the crown in former reigns, a great 


part of which was in the county of Down, and 
among those, the castle and lands of Killyleagh, 
which had formerly belonged to the Irish sept of 
O'Neills.* This settlement of Lord Claneboye in 
Ireland, brought several Presbyterian clergymen 
over, many of whom were men of science and 
talent. These he established in different parishes 
of his estate, and many of their descendants are 
still living there. He seemed to have a particular 
affection for the village of Killyleagh, as he gave 
about seventy acres of his demesne at Killyleagh 
castle to the sole use of the poor of that town. 
The original grant is said to have been lost by the 
corporation ; be that as it may, his son gave a re- 
newal of it in the year 1652. 

While Lord Claneboye thus attended to the 
comforts of those who held no land, he was not 
unmindful of the more affluent class. He estab- 
lished a philosophical school, which has since fallen 

* Of the mixture of avarice and prodigality of King James to 
his favorites, Sir Robert Cecil, his treasurer, gives the following 
ludicrous instance in his memoirs : — 

»* He had given a warrant for £20,000 to the Lord of Somerset ; 
but the Treasurer, aware of his Majesty's character, ordered the 
whole sum to be spread on a table in a room through which the 
King must pass. James asked whose money that was ? Tho 
Treasurer answered, ' Yours, before you gave it away.' Upon this 
the King cast himself on the heap, and scrabbled out two or threa 
hundred pounds, and swore he should have no more." A con- 
temporary historian, however, redeems his character by saying-: 
" If he had not had this alloy, his high towering and mastering 
reason had been of rare and sublimed excellency." — A. H. R. 
B 2 



to decay, but was in existence when Killyleagh fell 
into the hands of Messrs. Stevenson and Hamilton. 
They granted a joint lease to Professor M 1 Alpine, 
in consideration of his becoming the director of it, 
and they engaged to furnish him with a house, 
fuel, and grazing for his cattle, &c. independently 
of any salary he might obtain. 

Lord Olaneboye had but one son, whom he sent 
to travel under the care of a Scottish gentleman of 
the name of Traill. An account of the occupations 
of his pupil at that time is contained in the follow- 
ing letter from him to Lord Claneboye. 

Paris, October, 1633. ~ 

" Right Honourable and my own Honoured 
Lord and Master, 

" Your Lordship's first and last of the 20th 
September, came to my hands two hours ago, as 
we were going to supper, directed to Mons. Rugier, 
the King's agent here. They were to me matter 
of joy, because of the continuance of your Lord- 
ship's health, as they satisfied the master's longing, 
of which your Lordship may easily judge, knowing 
his dutifulness and affection, which no son can 
have more, and none such but he that has such a 
father. The consideration of the season made us 
hasten from London, reserving much to our return 
(God willing) and our passage by sea ; our journey 
has been forwarded hitherto without risk or impe- 
diment. The best towns between this and our 


landing lay directly in our way, Boulogne and 
Montreal, strong garrison towns, and Abbeville. 
As for Calais, which we desired to see, it was so 
far out of our way, as to see it we must have gone 
direct back again, and we were loath to begin our 
journey by a retrogradation. Amiens was a little 
aside, but so infected with the plague that we 
shunned it of purpose. While we are here this 
winter, as the holydays fall out we intend some 
excursions to the places hereabouts ; and whatever 
may benefit the master by sight shall not be ne- 
glected. And thus far your Lordship's letter has 
led me. By former letters from this place, (for I 
have written every week and some weeks twice,) 
your Lordship I hope knows our arrival here ; 
how we are lodged ; that the master is entered 
into his exercises of riding, and dancing, and fenc- 
ing ; and how he spends his time otherwise. In 
the morning about seven o'clock he goes to the 
academy, and after two hours or more abode there, 
he is either busied in reading French or Latin ; 
then a little after dinner the dancing master comes 
to him, then the fencing master. Then one for 
the French tongue, with whom he spends an hour 
before supper, either in reading or translating 
French, for the perfecting his pronounciation and 
understanding of that language, of which when he 
is in some measure master, some time may be 
had for the elements of logic and mathematics. 
Thus your Lordship has an account of all his time, 
save that which is morning and evening, first and 




last, his duties of piety, and the time of diet and 
sleep, of which, praised be God, his health gives 
very good account. 

" My Lord, that which I would have him chiefly 
direct his endeavours to, is his riding and fencing 
for exercise, and most of all his knowledge of men 
and business, without which there cannot be con- 
fidence or discretion in a man^ carriage. As his 
judgement ripens, sight and conversation will give 
him more assurance. As to the nerfs and sinews 
of our domestic affairs, they shall be dispensed as 
frugally as we can, if you approve of our design 
to begin the circuit of France about the end of 
March, or 1st of April ; to rest in Geneva the last 
months of the summer, till the 1st of October. 
For that journey and time of abode in Geneva we 
shall have need of no less then £350 sterling, 
which should be made over to us ; as here we might 
receive a part of the money, and for another part 
bills to Bordeaux, and for the rest bills to Geneva ; 
from which place, if your Lordship will have the 
master step into Italy, new bills must be had for 
such sums as that journey of at least six months 
will require. But at that distance a letter of cre- 
dit will supply us better than bills of exchange. 
If you so please, the letter may be so contrived 
that the money be not delivered but unto the 
master himself with me. And moreover, for our 
journey to Italy another pass must be had, because 
that which we had in London has an exclusive 
clause, as your Lordship may have seen by the 


copy which I sent you from London ; barring us 
from all countries and persons, not in amity and 
league with our sovereign — this chiefly at Rome. 
The master would be glad it might fall out that 
James Stevenson, or some other of these parts, were 
at Bourdeaux at the time when we shall be there, 
or, at least, that we knew the time of their coming. 
Our time there, if it please God, may be about the 
end of April, or beginning of May rather. The 
master is very desirous that your Lordship and my 
Lady shall drink wine of his tasting ; to send it 
by a ship to London to Mr. Archibald, and from 
him to Ireland, would be double trouble and charge, 
and not so sure. 


Paris, October, 1633. 

The following is the copy of a letter which Lord 
Claneboye received from his son, while on his tour : 

22nd April, 1636. 
" Right Honourable and most dear Father, 

" I did write unto your Lordship when I was at 
Rome, and have seen all the things that are to be 
observed ; but because the air was not good to stay 
there in summer, therefore am I come to Florence 
in good health, thanks be to God. I do purpose to 
live here quietly for a while, and write to your 
Lordship as often as occasion will permit ; also I 
will seek out here for an honest Italian boy, as your 



Lordship hath commanded ; so I rest, craving your 
blessing, and praying God to keep your Lordship 
in good health, 

" Your most obedient Sonne, 


He also wrote to his mother as follows : 

" Right Hon. and most dear Mother, 

" This is the third letter I have written to your 
Ladyship since I came to town ; I am glad to hear 
of your Ladyship by my Father's letter, wherein 
I hear that your Ladyship did write unto me, but 
I have not received it yet. I hope the blessings 
which your Ladyship hath sent me in my Father's 
letter shall not be in vain, because they are sent 
from so loving a Mother. So I rest, praying God 
to keepe your Ladyship in good health, and leave 
your blessing to 

" Your most obedient Sonne, 


James Hamilton, having returned from his tra- 
vels, married Anne Carey, eldest daughter of 
Henry Carey, the first Earl of Monmouth ; and 
his father, Lord Claneboye, joined him in set- 
tling the town of Killyleagh and neighbouring 
townlands on her as a jointure. Thus his son 
James, now Lord Claneboye, became heir to all 



the estates his father possessed a right over, 
except those which were settled ou his wife as a 
jointure. In 1644 he was created Earl of Clan- 
brassil. In 1659 he made a will, in which was 
inserted the following clause : — ;t If it do happen 
that my sons decease, without issue and heirs of 
their bodies lawfully begotten, before my debts be 
satisfied, I do then appoint that my debts be first 
paid, and that then thereafter there be i?20 a Year 
given to the school of Bangor ; £20 a year to the 
school of Killyleagh ; £10 a year to the school 
of Hollywood ; £10 a year to the school of Bally- 
walter ; and £10 & year to the school of Tonnagh- 
neive ; and the remainder of my estate to be divi- 
ded into five equal parts, amongst the eldest sons 
or issue of my five Uncles, as the lands can be 
laid out in most equal and just divisions.* 1 This 
will being shown to Sir Allan Broderick, an emi- 
nent counsel of that day, he declared he had 
never seen any paper more likely to cause law- 
suits ; and so it proved to be, for Countess Alicia, 
the widow of Henry, the last Earl of Clanbrassil, 
(who died in 1675 without issue) kept up a law- 
suit with the heirs of the five uncles until the 
year 1696, when an order of court was made, that 
the estates of the Earl should be divided among 
the five claimants who inherited under Earl 
Jameses will, first, James Hamilton of NeilsbrooJc, 
eldest son of Archibald, the eldest uncle of Earl 
James. Second, Archibald Hamilton, eldest son 
and heir of Gaicin, who was second uncle to the 
b 5 



said Earl. Third, Sir Hans Hamilton, Knight, 
eldest son of John Hamilton, the third uncle. 
Fourth, James Hamilton, grandson and heir of 
William Hamilton, the fourth uncle. Fifth, 
Patrick Hamilton, grandson and heir of Patrick^ 
the fifth uncle. 

In this division the Killileagh proportion was 
adjudged to belong to the heirs of J ames Hamilton 
of Neilsbrook, viz : to his two brothers Gawin and 
William, and his three daughters. But one of 
them having married a Mr. Stevenson, a further 
division became necessary between that family and 
the Hamiltons, which took place in the year 1699. 

By the union of Ireland with Great Britain in 
1800, it w T as declared that the borough representation 
of Ireland was private property, and that those who 
would prove a claim to the representation of any 
borough which was to be disfranchised by that 
act, should be compensated. 

I was in America at that time ; and Killyleagh 
being one of those which was disfranchised, my 
father seems not to have attended to the business, 
and none but the Blackwood family put forward 
any claim to the representation ; and accordingly 
it was adjudged to belong to the then Sir James 
Stevenson Blackwood, (now Lord Dufferin) and in 
lieu thereof he received the sum of i?l 5,000, to the 
one half of which our family was entitled.* 

* In proof of this the memoir refers to a memorial presented 
to Lord Annesley hy Mr. Rowan, on his return to Ireland in 1805. 



Having given this account of my paternal fa- 
mily, I turn to that of my mother. She was the 
only child of William Rowan, whose ancestors 
were also amono- the Scottish emigrants who 
settled in Ireland during the rei^n of James I. or 
thereabouts. The earliest notice I can collect of 
them is, that one William Rowan was the rector 
of Clough in the county of Antrim, and had 
married a Mrs. Phedris, by whom he got sonic 
landed property, and that his son was married to 
Mildred Thompson of Londonderry, by whom he 
had several children, of whom my grandfather 
William Rowan was one. 

A letter, of which the following is a copy, from 
Queen Anne to the Duke of Ormond, concerning 
William Rowan, dated the 18th of April, 1 710, is 
preserved in the Signet Office, Dublin. 

" Right trusty and well-beloved Counsellor, we 
" srreet you well. Whereas our hio-h Treasurer of 
" Great Britain hath laid before us your letter or 
" report of the 1st inst., on the petition of Captain 
" William Rowan, as also a report made to you 
? thereupon by the Lords Justices, and principal 
" Officers of the Ordnance of our Kingdom, whereby 
" it appears that the petitioner was very serviceable 
" to our late dearest Brother and Sister, King Wil- 
" liam and Queen Mary, at several times, and on 
u several occasions ; and that he raised a company 
" in the North of Ireland, by virtue of a com- 
" mission from our said Brother when Prince of 
" Orange, and armed and subsisted them at his 



" own charge ; and in maintaining a pass near 
" Londonderry against the enemy, lost his lieute- 
" nant and several of his men ; and with the remain- 
" der served in Scotland, where he recruited and 
" subsisted them at his own charge, and served as 
" a captain till commanded back to Ireland by the 
" late Duke of Schomberg, where he continued and 
" did very good service with his company until the 
" reduction of that kingdom. 

" That he afterwards commanded a company of 
" militia, and at his own expense clothed them, and 
" was, with said company, ordered from the north 
" of Ireland to Philipstown, and there did several 
" services, bringing thence, from the enemy, seve- 
" ral cart-loads of arms and ammunition to our stores 
" at Athlone, and since hath been active and ser- 
" viceable in several other instances. 

" That he was plundered by the Irish army to 
" the value of i?40Q, and also lost the like value 
" on horses and goods in the siege of Londonderry, 
" for all which services and losses he never received 
" any pay or recompense. Upon the whole matter 
" you agree in opinion with our said justices and 
" principal officers of our Ordnance, that the peti- 
tioner is a person deserving our favour, and is 
" become an object of our bounty ; and in regard to 
" his having, among other good services, raised a 
" company of foot, and maintained it at his own 
" expense for several years without any considera- 
" tion. You ha^e promised that if we shall be 
" graciously pleased to place him upon the military 



" establishment of our kingdom of Ireland for the 
" pay of a captain of foot, it will be a bounty 
" well bestowed. We, taking the promise into 
M our royal consideration, are pleased to agree 
" thereto. Our will and pleasure therefore is, 
" and we do hereby authorise you to issue the 
" necessary directions for placing him, the said 
" William Rowan, on the present and all future 
" establishments of expense, on the head of the 
" pay of a captain of foot, the same to commence 
" from Christmas last past, and to be paid him or 
" his assigns during our pleasure, quarterly, in like 
" manner as the pensions in our said establishment 
" are paid and payable ; and this shall be as well 
" as to our Lieutenant Deputy or other Chief Go- 
" vernor or Governors for the time being, and all 
" others herein concerned, a sufficient warrant. 
" And so we bid you heartily farewell. 

" Given at our Court of St. James, the 18th of 
" April, 1710, in the 9th year of our reign. 

" By her Majesty's Command. 


" George Woodison, 

" Deputy Secretary." 

Whether his exertions in favour of the Revo- 
lution had absorbed his private property or not, I 
am ignorant, but certainly he did not die rich. 
By his marriage with Mildred Thompson he was 
connected with the Synges and other beneficiaries 



of the Church, which determined him to educate 
his son, my maternal grandfather, as a clergy- 
man, and accordingly he was sent to Trinity 
College, Dublin. Here he contracted a friendship 
with a fellow student of the name x>f Markham. 

They were both resolute and uncompromising 
whigs, and I have heard my grandfather say, 
that they were frequently obliged to appeal to their 
fists to enforce the reasoning of their heads. After 
having graduated at college, he became a candidate 
for a fellowship, and was elected. At that time 
there were no lay fellowships, and though of the 
established church, he refused to take the oaths 
necessary for ordination, and consequently the 
election was void. He then attached himself to 
the study of the law, and in a succeeding period, 
when the lay fellowships were first established, he 
was again elected to that for law, and received the 
unsolicited office of legal adviser to the college. 
When the Duke of Dorset came over as Lord 
Lieutenant, he put his son Lord George Sackville 
under the care of Mr. Rowan. 

Having acquired a competent fortune by his 
profession, he purchased from Colonel Brazier an 
estate in the County of Donegal called Ray, 
which he considerably augmented by his marriage 
with Elizabeth Eyre, daughter and co-heiress of 
Edward Eyre, Esq. of Galway. He then went 
to reside at Ray, but Mrs. Rowan disliking the 
place, he let it by a lease renewable for ever at 
i?450 per annum, and removed to London, where 



he purchased the lease of a house in Rathbone- 
place,* and another on Richmond Hill. 

In the year 1750, my father, Gawin Hamilton 
of Killyleagh, whose fortune, like that of many 
Irish gentlemen, had need of nursing, retired to 
England with his wife, the only daughter of William 
Rowan, and widow of Tichborne Aston, Esq. of 
Beaulieu, near Drogheda, in the county of Louth ; 
and it was a most fortunate connexion he made, for 
he possessed a woman endowed with every amiable 
quality and perfection of mind and body, with a good 
fortune: They were settled for a time in London 
where I was born, on the 12th of May, 1751, O.S. 

My grandfather's plan for my education was, 
that after receiving my early schooling I should be 
sent to Westminster ; but not before I should enter 
the upper school. Accordingly I was sent to a 
then famous school, kept at Marylebone, by a Mr. 
Fountain ; and it was my grandfather's custom to 
send for me every Saturday, to see what progress I 
was making. Either he expected too much, or I 
was idle, for I was generally sent back on Monday 
with a letter disapproving their mode of education. 

* Rathbone-place at that time was the extremity of London on 
that side. A large reservoir, which supplied a corn-mill, lay at 
one end of it, and there was only a foot passage by it from London, 
which was closed every night. The ground on either side of this 
reservoir was then divided into several stripes of gardens, fenced 
from each other by treillages, and occupied by Irish emigrants, 
who then abounded in Soho, and were accustomed to spend the 
evenings in singing, dancing, and other amusements of their 
own country A. K. R. 



A Monsieur De Morand, an emigrant, was French 
tutor. He had taken a fancy for me, whom he 
called son petit Malebranche ; and frequently has 
he gone over my lessons with me, previous to my 
weekly examinations by my grandfather. 

I now passed two years in my grandfather's 
house ; he was of a choleric habit, while I was 
giddy and negligent, and therefore this time passed 
heavily enough ; but by his instructions I was pre- 
pared for the upper remove of the fourth form at 
Westminster, of which the head master, who after- 
wards became Archbishop of York, was the son 
of his old chum Major Markham. While I re- 
sided with my grandfather, I do not recollect his 
having ever urged any particular religious doctrine. 
His chief object seemed to be to give me good prin- 
ciples, and leave the rest to myself. I attended 
the established church ceremonies with Mr. Rowan ; 
and the chief squabbles which occurred between 
him and Mrs. Rowan were, that he did not enforce 
her religious principles upon me with the same 
energy that he did my scholastic exercises. 

The opinions, however, which had influenced 
him to decline taking orders when first elected Fel- 
low of Trinity College, seemed never to have been 
shaken, for his will commenced thus : — ■ 

" In the name of the One only self-existent Being" 
&c. In the same instrument he made me his heir, 
and expressed himself as follows : — 

" From personal affection, and in the hope that he 
shall become a learned, sober, honest man, live un- 



bribed and unpensioned, zealous for tlw rights of his 
country, loyal to his King, and a true Protestant, 
without bigotry to any sect, I give my property to 
Archibald Hamilton." He also ordered that I 
should bear his name in addition to that of my 
father ; that I should be educated at one of the 
British Universities, and should not go to Ireland 
until I was twenty-five years old, or should forfeit 
the income of the estate during such time as I 
should remain there. 

William Rowan died in London on the 23d of 
June, 1767, aged 71. He was buried in Richmond 
church, where a monumental bust by Wilson, with 
a tablet containing the following scroll, written by 
the Rev. Dr. Brett, was erected to his memory : — 

D. I. G. 







A. D. 1767. 


The Rev. Doctor Lovatt, Rector of Lismore, re- 
lated to me the following anecdote of Mr. Rowan^s 
early life, which I had frequently heard alluded to 
by many of his old friends, but of which I had 
never before heard the particulars. 

44 When going to London to keep his terms, he 
engaged a seat in the stage-coach from Chester. 
His fellow-travellers were five Londoners, returning 
from Chester linen fair. In the course of con- 
versation, they soon became aware of the birth-place 
of their companion. The conversation turned, as 
usual, on highwaymen, and a report that there was 
an Irishman who infested that road, and who let 
nothing pass him. It was then declared by the 
Londoners, that they would never submit to be 
robbed by any single man, whatever might be at- 



tempted by an Englishman ; but by an Irishman 
the thing was impossible. This declaration was 
followed by numerous jests on the Irish character. 
Mr. Rowan, upon this, determined to put their 
vaunting to the test. On the last day but one of 
their journey, he pretended to have some business 
to transact with a person who lived a short distance 
off the high road, and said it would not occupy him 
more than an hour, and that he would be able to 
rejoin them the next day, by hiring a horse for 
one stage. He waited until dusk, then pursued 
the coach, stopped it, and made them deliver their 
effects ;* and on the next morning at breakfast he 
rejoined them. During the day the jokes were en- 
tirely on Mr. Rowan's side, as he insisted it must 
have been his countryman who had robbed them, 
and they were obliged to borrow cash from him to 
discharge their bills. After dinner, however, he 
insisted on giving them a bottle to drink the health 
of his countryman. He then put their effects in 
his hat, acknowledged the trick, and laying it on 
the table, desired every one to pick out his own. 
The party continued their journey in apparent good 
humour ; but when they arrived in London, one of 
them slipped out of the hotel at which the coach 
stopped, procured a constable, and gave him into 
custody, charging him with a highway robbery. 
This frolic might have cost him dear, had he not 
been known to the uncle of the Rev. Mr. Lovatt, 

* I have the inkhom which served him for a pistol A. H. R. 



who was an intimate friend of Sir Robert Walpole, 
and by his interest procured his discharge* 

[Had Mr. Rowan been fond of indulging the 
pride of pedigree, he might have traced his descent 
to a higher and nobler source than the Vicar of 
Dunlop, and shewn the connexion of his family with 
many titled and distinguished houses, of which it 
may suffice to mention that of Abercorn, with those 
of Olanbrassil and Dufferin. But he was more 
ambitious of personal than of ancestral honors, and 
might have felt with the Roman satirist, that 
" virtue alone is true nobility. 1 '' The curious reader 
is referred to Harris's History of the County of 
Down, and to ArchdaWs Peerage of Ireland, for 
more particulars of his family. 

The grant of lands to the Hamiltons and Mont- 
gomerys in the county of Down, became a subject 
of litigation with Sir Thomas Smith, to whom the 
same lands had been given by Queen Elizabeth. 
In 1611 Sir Thomas got an order of reference 
respecting them to the Commissioners of Irish 
Affairs (of whom Sir James Hamilton was one,) 
and on the 30th of September, 1612, inquisition 
was taken, and Sir Thomas's title found to be 
" void and null, for breach and nonperformance of 
articles and covenants to the Queen."* " In 1626 

* See the Montgomery Manuscripts, p. 57, published in Bel- 
fast, 1830. In these papers the reader may find much curious 
and interesting information respecting the first settlement of the 
Montgomerys, Hamiltons, and Savages, in the county of Down, 



Lord Montgomery's patent for his lands was ordered 
by the King to be passed under the broad seal of 
Ireland. 1 '* 

The plantation of Ulster was one of the wisest 
transactions of the reign of James I. ;"f* it intro- 
duced civilization into a land depopulated and 
wasted by a long series of sanguinary wars. In 
granting estates to such families as the Hamiltons 
and the Montgomery s, James shewed discrimination 
and judgment. They were real improvers, who 
brought with them a spirit of industry, and paid 
such special regard not only to the physical com- 
forts, but the moral and intellectual culture of their 
people, that the country soon began to assume a 
new and cheerful aspect. It is stated in authentic 
documents, to which reference is made in the 
notes, that " some parishes were more wasted than 
America when the Spaniards landed there, having 
but few inhabitants, and those miserably circum- 
stanced. " " Sir Hugh Montgomery brought with 

* Montgomery Manuscripts, p. 62. 

f Hume says — " Tenants were brought over from England and 
Scotland. The Irish were removed from the hills and fastnesses, 
and settled in the open country ; husbandry and the arts were 
taught them ; a fixed habitation secured; plunder and robbery 
punished ; and by these means Ulster, from being the most w ild 
and disorderly province of all Ireland, soon became the best cul- 
tivated and the most civilized. Such were the acts by which 
James introduced humanity and justice among a people who had 
ever been buried in the most profound barbarism. Noble cares ! 
much superior to the vain and criminal glory of conquest ; but 
requiring ages of perseverance and attention to perfect what had 
been so happily begun." 



liim divers artificers, as smiths, masons, and car- 
penters, who soon made booths and cabins for them- 
selves ; because sods and saplins of ashes, alders, and 
beech trees above thirty years old, with rushes for 
thatch, and bushes for wattles, were at hand. Mar- 
kets were established, and a constant intercourse 
kept up between Scotland and the northern coun- 
ties, the distance between Donaghadee and Port- 
patrick being only three hours sail."* 

The name of Lady Montgomery, not less than 
that of her husband, deserves to be recorded with 
honour. Would that her noble example were more 
generally followed ! She gave ample encourage- 
ment to every branch of industry, particularly to 
the linen and woollen manufactures. She built 
mills, gave her labourers plots of ground for flax 
and potatoes, for gardens and orchards. Nor were 
the interests of learning and religion neglected. 
" The old women spun, and the young girls plyed 
their nimble fingers at knitting, and every body 
was innocently busy. Now the golden peaceable 
age was renewed ; no strife, contention, querulous 
lawyers, or Scottish and Irish feuds between clans? 
and families, and sirnames, disturbed the tranquil- 
lity of those times ; and the towns and temples 
were erected, with other great works. "•(• 

Of the first Viscount Montgomery, it is stated 
that " he built the quay or harbour of Donaghadee, 

* Montgomery Manuscripts, p. 49. 
f Id. 54 


a great and profitable work, both for public and 
private benefit ; and built a great school at New- 
town, endowing it with £20 yearly salary for a 
Master of Arts, to teach Latin, Greek, and Logycks, 
allowing the scholars a green for recreation at gofF, 
football, and archery ; declaring, that if he lived 
some few years longer, he would convert his priory 
houses into a college for philosophy ; and further 
paid small stipends to a master to teach orthogra- 
phy and arithmetic ; and to a music master, who 
should be also precentor to the church, (which is a 
curacy,) so that both sexes might learn all those 
three arts ; the several masters of those three 
schools having, over and beside what I have men- 
tioned, wages from every scholar under their charge. 
* * * But alas ! this beautiful order appointed 
and settled by his Lordship, lasted no longer than 
till the Scottish army came over and put their 
chaplains in our churches ; who having power, re- 
yarded not law, equity or rigid, to back or counte- 
nance them ; they turned out all the legal loyal 
clergy, who would not depart Episcopacy and the 
service book, and take the Covenant, a very bitter 
pill indeed to honest men ; but they found few to 
comply with them therein ; and so they had more 
pulpits and schools to dispose of to other dominies, 
for whom they sent letters into Scotland.'' 1 * 

Thus has almost every good its concomitant evil. 
Happily, we trust, the good has predominated ; 
and if any vestige of the same grasping cupidity, 

* Montgomery Manuscripts, pp. 104, 106. 



and disregard for equity and right, is still to be 
found among the descendants and brethren of the 
44 Covenant," let us hope that a better spirit will in 
due time come forth, and that the moral sense of 
equity and right will, even in synodical assemblies, 
prevail over the desire of legal spoliation and rob- 
bery. Presbytery and prelacy have shaken hands 
and given a fraternal hug ! tempora mutantur. 

But a bitter pill still continues to be compounded 
in Ulster's great theological laboratory, of ingre- 
dients not less unpalatable to certain 44 Remonstrants' 1 
than those which composed the bitter pill of the 
44 Covenant ; v and its venders are not a few ; for 
44 by that craft," like certain artificers of Ephesus, 
they 44 have their wealth." The honest men who 
find it too crude to swallow, and who refuse to let 
it be thrust down their throats, continue to multi- 
ply ; and in proportion as Christian knowledge, 
and the love of Christian truth are diffused, will 
the 44 craft" diminish, till it becomes extinct. 

Mr. Rowan does not inform us for what reason 
iiis French tutor called him son petit Malebranche ; 
but it may well be supposed that it was for some 
real or fancied resemblance to the distinguished 
author of the 44 Search after Truth ;" and though 
his subsequent history shews that he was more de- 
voted to an active than to a contemplative life, he 
took due care to improve and enrich his mind by 
reading and reflection. Of this, his letters and 
various extracts from the best authors, left among 
his manuscripts, contain abundant proof. — Ed.] 




Mr. Rowan sent to Westminster school — His political circle — 
Enters Cambridge University under the Rev. John Jebb — Goes 
to Holland with Sir John Borlase Warren and Mr. Newcomb— 
Lands at Helvoetsluys — Visits Rotterdam, Gouda, the Hague, 
and Delft — Returns to Cambridge — Introduced to Sir Charles 
Montague — Miss Ray — The Duke of Manchester offers Mr. 
Rowan a commission in the Huntingdon militia — Goes to Fal- 
mouth — Enters on board the Tartar frigate as Private Secretary 
to Lord Charles Montague — Arrives at Fayal — Interview with 
Celestine, a nun — Arrives at Charleston — North Briton, No. 45— 
Political transactions — Returns to England — Pecuniary embar- 
rassment — Expedients — Sells stock, and grows extravagant — 
Sixteen-string-Jack — Paper in the " World," Hamilton. — 

After my grandfather's death I was sent to West- 
minster, and my father quitted his house in Brook - 
street, and took one from Bonnel Thornton in the 
neighbourhood of the school. Mr. Thornton was 
a man of wit, and an intimate friend of Charles 
Churchill and Robert Lloyd, to whom he intro- 
duced my father, and who afterwards became fre- 
quent visitors at our house. These, with Doctor 
Charles Lucas from Ireland, and several oppo- 
sition English members, formed his political circle, 
and no doubt had an influence on my early sen- 

The time for my entering one of the universities 
having arrived, and my father's affairs requiring 




his presence in Ireland, he determined on sending 
me to Cambridge, and procured letters of recom- 
mendation to the Rev. John Jebb, then a Fellow 
of Peter House College. This gentleman then 
possessed two livings near Cambridge, which with 
his private pupils in the university formed the 
chief of his income. His wife, Miss Talkington, 
possessed sentiments political and religious similar 
to his own, and she agreed with him in the pro- 
priety of throwing up those livings, rather than, as 
he expressed his feelings on the subject, " to act a 
lie weekly in the presence of the God of truth" 

On throwing off his ecclesiastical gown, he re- 
tired to Leyden, where he studied medicine, and 
obtained the degree of M.D. To this most excel- 
lent man's care, or rather patronage, I was com- 
mitted ; and I am proud to say, that though I 
deviated considerably from the line of conduct he 
pointed out to me, I retained his friendship and 
correspondence to the last year of his life. 

In the course of the winter succeeding my matri- 
culation, during a short vacation, Sir J ohn Borlase 
Warren, Mr. Newcomb, and myself, fellow- students, 
agreed to make a trip to Holland, to see and par- 
take of the amusements on the ice in that country. 
Though the passage from Harwich to Helvoetsluys 
was generally performed in seven or eight hours, it 
took us three days ; during which time the frost broke 
up. We had two fellow passengers, Mr. Crawford, 
a considerable English merchant at Rotterdam, and 
a Dutch gentleman of the name of Bergsma, an 



Admiraltats Heer of Amsterdam. When we landed 
at Helvoet, we hired waggons to convey our luggage 
to The Brille, a small fortified town at the mouth 
of the Meuse. The road was execrable. Each 
waggon had four horses and two drivers ; one 
managed the leaders, while the other had to guide 
the carriage ; so we determined to walk, as the 
footway was excellent, composed entirely of cockle- 
shells, and kept in admirable order. The wind 
and tide being favourable for Rotterdam, we hired 
a boat for that place, and were within a few miles 
of it, when we struck on a sunken pile, which kept 
us pretty busy in lading out the water until we 
were taken on board another boat which conveyed 
us to the town. On our arrival at Rotterdam Mr. 
Crawford gave us an invitation to dinner the next 
day, and said he would introduce the English of 
our party to a ball in the evening, excusing himself 
to Mr. Bergsma, as, by the regulations, the company 
must be exclusively English. Mr. Crawford's house 
and furniture of every sort were in the old English 
fashion, with which our reception, and the enter- 
tainment, dress, and manners at the ball, all cor- 

Mr. Bergsma was to set out for Amsterdam next 
morning, when I (being always an early riser) 
accompanied him the first stage to Gouda, a place 
famous for the manufacture of smoking pipes. The 
church here was a handsome building : the windows 
of it were composed of black and white stained 
glass, and resembled so many immense copper 



plates. The peasantry, in general, wore wooden 
shoes ; but otherwise were all well clad. 

The town of Rotterdam has to boast of having 
been the residence, if not the birth-place of Bayle, 
in a large house, handsomely situated, and very 
different from that which was shown to us as the 
one where Erasmus was born and lived, which was 
a small habitation in an obscure alley. As we 
paraded the streets of Rotterdam on our arrival, 
we were at a loss to account for the frequent salu- 
tations of our companions, when we could see no 
persons in the streets for whom, as we thought, 
they were likely to be intended ; but upon inquiry, 
we found that most of the houses had small mirrors 
suspended outside them, in such a manner as to re- 
flect the passengers in the street to other mirrors in 
the interior of the room, where the family resided, 
and it was to those their passing friends made their 
obeisances.* During a heavy shower we had got 
under a shed which projected from the end of a 
house by the road side ; the owner came out and 
told us we must decamp and brave the storm, or 

* This practice is still continued, as we learn from the author 
of a "A Few Weeks on the Continent," published in No. 252 of 
Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, October 27, 1838. 

" In our various walks we were much amused with observing 
that every house has one or more mirrors in frames, fixed by- 
means of iron rods on the outsides of the windows, and at such an 
angle as to command a complete view either of the doorway or of 
all that passes on the street. These looking-glasses are universal 
in Holland, both in town and country, and are the solace of the 
ladies while following their domestic avocations." — [Ed.] 



pay him two stivers, about one halfpenny each, for 
our shelter. Our plan of skating having failed, 
we went to the Hague and to Delft, where we 
were shown the Arbour where the Prince of Orange 
had been shot. The Ha^ue was a small village 
with a large square in the centre, where there hap- 
pened to be a muster of Dutch troops ; they were 
handsome men, and more alert than we expected 
to find them. There were many canals, which met 
here, and travelling by them was very cheap ; the 
usual rate was about six stivers for ten miles. The 
passage boats were divided into two compartments, 
the roof or cabin of which generally held eight or 
ten, who paid a higher rate, and the waist of the boat 
for the common people. You might engage any 
number of seats on the roof, by paying double price 
for those you did not occupy. On returning to 
Rotterdam, we were conveyed some miles in a 
private boat, which was very elegantly fitted up ; 
and many of these were kept in each town. The 
privilege of dropping the track-line of all boats in 
going to and from Rotterdam had been settled by 
old custom, and consequently there was never any 
confusion ; the punishment was very severe on 
those who neglected to obey the law. Some im- 
mense sum had been offered by a village near Rot- 
terdam for the privilege of holding up their track- 
line in coining to market at Rotterdam in the 
morning, but was refused. 

Our stock purse being now nearly exhausted, we 
returned to Harwich, and fortunately Mr. Xewcomb 
c 3 


had an uncle, a clergyman, in the neighbourhood, 
to whom he introduced us ; and he not only re- 
ceived and treated us most hospitably, but replen- 
ished our purse and enabled us to return to Cam- 

[Here there is a blank of two or three pages in the 
original manuscript.] 

The monthly balls at Huntingdon at this time 
were more attended to on account of the militia 
being quartered there for their yearly exercise, and 
of Lord Charles Montague (who was Lieutenant- 
Colonel) and his lady having lodgings in the town. 
At one of the balls it happened that I danced with 
Lady Montague, after which Lord Charles invited 
me to supper ; from this a friendship commenced be- 
tween us, which terminated only by his death some 
years after. 

Miss Ray, a most celebrated singer, was at 
this time under the protection of Lord Sandwich, 
who had private theatricals at Hinchinbrook, where 
she used to sing, and happy was the student who 
could procure a ticket of admission. At these per- 
formances the company invited by his Lordship 
retired with him. His servant then brought in 
tumblers of negus, and plates of thin slices of bread 
and butter with cold meat between each, and pre- 
sented them to the spectators. This, I suppose, 
first gave them the name of Sandiviclm, 

A young clergyman, who had frequently attended 
these parties, became so enamoured of Miss Ray, 



who was really well-looking but not handsome, 
that he repeatedly urged her to accept his hand in 
marriage. She constantly refused him ; and urged 
by jealousy or vexation, he followed her up to 
London, and on his leaving Covent Garden theatre 
one evening, he shot her as she was stepping into 
her carriage : he then fired a second pistol at his 
own head, which failed in its effects. He was seized 
and executed. 

Lord Charles introduced me to the Duke of 
Manchester, his brother, who offered me a commis- 
sion in the Huntingdon militia. It was at that time 
officered bv the following noblemen and gentlemen : 
the Duke of Manchester, who was Colonel ; Lord 
C. Montague, Lieutenant-Colonel ; Lords Sand- 
wich, Ludlow, and Carysfort, with Sir Thomas 
Aprice, and Mr. White, a gentleman of fortune in 
the county. But when the American war broke 
out, and the militia was put on permanent duty, 
our Lords retired. 

About this time I found my way to London, where 
I was introduced to a solicitor, a Mr. Greenway, 
who pointed out to me the means of supplying any 
deficiency in my allowance, by my selling annuities 
at the rate of six years 5 purchase, to pay arrears of 
former loans. From the time when I first mounted 
my epaulettes, I paid but little attention to either 
college rules or exercises, and merely kept the neces- 
sary terms. Lord Charles Montague had been ap- 
pointed Governor of South Carolina some years 
previous, but had got permission to return to Eng- 


land for the recovery of his and his wife's health. 
He was now ordered to repair to his government ; 
some suspected it was because his brother the Duke 
of Manchester was strong in opposition to Lord 
North's administration, although the discontents 
now rising in the colonies fully justified the order. 
He then proposed that I should accompany him to 
Falmouth, where the Tartar frigate, Captain Mea- 
dows, waited to receive him and his family, to con- 
vey them to Charleston. On his road to Falmouth 
he visited Sir George Young, Mr. Lethbridge, Sir 
Thomas Auckland, Mr. Eassett, and others, to 
whom he introduced me as a young friend of his, 
and thus led me into a respectable line of acquain- 
tance, which I might never have possessed other- 
wise, and of which I took advantage in a subsequent 
tour to Devonshire. 

When we arrived at Falmouth, there was still a 
good part of the long vacation to spare, and it re- 
quired very little persuasion to induce me to cross 
the Atlantic with my friends- Lord Charles then 
invested me with the character of his private Secre- 
tary, in which character I was taken on board the 
Tartar. He and his Lady suffered so dreadfully 
at sea, that Captain Meadows took a course by the 
Azores, in the hope of smoother weather. Fayal 
was the first port we made, and we were invited 
by the British Consul to spend the time while 
there at his residence. The arrival of the Tartar 
was very opportune for the inhabitants of that place, 
as there was no medical man resident in the island. 


Mr. Thomson, an Irish gentleman of superior ta- 
lents and medical knowledge, was surgeon of the 
Tartar, and he had the satisfaction of completely 
eradicating a severe dysentery which raged in the 
town, and more particularly in a neighbouring con- 
vent, where it had carried off some of the sister- 
hood. On one of his visits to the convent he per- 
mitted me to accompany him. Mr. Thomson was 
admitted into the interior of the house, and I was 
shown into the parlour, which was divided into two 
parts by a double cross row of iron grating. In a 
short time a young person in the costume of the 
order entered on the other side of the grating : tho 
customary salutations passed in French, in which 
tongue neither of us was a great proficient ; but we 
soon discoursed as familiarly as if we had been old 
acquaintances. She told me her father had been 
a merchant at Fayal, but had died suddenly, leav- 
ing her but a small provision, which she had thrown 
into the funds of the convent, where she found her- 
self extremely happy. On my taking leave of her, 
she presented me with a small bag of her own 
making, composed of stained fibres of the leaf of 
the aloes, and desired me to remember sister Celes- 
tine, in a tone which I thought told another tale. 
At the age I then was, few females who had youth 
and good manners could displease ; but a nun was 
a peculiarly interesting object, and of course I was 
most desperately in love during the remainder of 
our voyage, and until I became acquainted with the 
more languid but fairer faces of the Carolinians, 
c 5 



The bickerings between England and the Colo- 
nies were becoming serious when we left England. 
These were aggravated by many trifles soon after 
our arrival in Charleston. The 45th number of 
the North Briton, containing a letter to the king, 
had made that number, as it were, the mystical re- 
presentative of liberty in England, and had been 
adopted in America. A statue of Mr. Pitt had 
been erected opposite the court-house in Charleston, 
which was surrounded by an iron railing. The 
Assembly among the items of expenditure had 
voted £4*5 for painting the rails of it. This vote 
was looked upon by Lord Charles as an indirect 
insult to the government ; and after attempting in 
vain to prevent that sum being included in the 
account of general expenditure, he dissolved the 
Assembly. The manner of dissolving it was thus : 
A peace officer, preceded by a drummer, bore the 
proclamation of the Governor, which was read in the 
house, and the dissolution took place thereon. Each 
member now returned to his colony, and writs were 
issued for a new election to take place. The people 
returned the same members that they had before 
elected. These persons being now aware that if 
their conduct was not agreeable to government, a 
second dissolution would take place, ordered the 
doors to be closed, and passed the same vote as be- 
fore, refusing the others entrance. The drummer 
beat, and in vain the officer read the proclamation 
in the street ; the members within passed all the 
bills, and then opened their doors and were dissolved 



according to law. The only resource the Governor 
now had, was to refuse his sanction to them, so 
that the whole year's expenditure of the state was 
thus left unprovided for. 

Having spent nearly three months at Charleston, 
I got a passage from Captain Hayward to England, 
on board the Swallow, taking with me a racoon, an 
opossum, and a young bear. After a very rough 
passage I landed at Portsmouth — my racoon dead, 
my bear washed overboard, and my opossum lost 
in the cable tier — and I returned to Cambridge. 

I have before mentioned my connexion with Mr. 
Greenway ; he was a bom xicant of much wit and 
conviviality ; and if his bills of costs were excessive, 
he repaid them by partaking of the pleasures of the 
table with his young clients, and introducing them 
to all the extravagancies of London. 

The continuation of the annuity business became 
at last so burdensome, that at one time I paid above 
6^9 00 per annum. I applied to my father and 
mother, craving their assistance. My father an- 
swered that his estate being under settlement, he 
could not raise any money. My mother would 
have assisted me, but it should be in her own way : 
she desired me to go abroad, and permit her to com- 
pound with my creditors. To this I would not con- 
sent. I now applied to my friend Greenway, who sug- 
gested that as in the course of a year I should at- 
tain the age of twenty-five, and by my grandfather's 
will I was then to become his sole executor, and 
should have power over his personal estate, I might 



then sell out of the funds as much as would relieve 
my necessities ; and as to the entail of my grand- 
father's fortune, it could be secured by mortgage 
on the Killyleagh estate to the uses of my grand- 
father's will, and that if I married and had heirs, 
it was natural the father's debts should be paid 
by selling part of the Killyleagh or the Rowan pro- 
perty. I determined on taking his advice. My 
immediate wants being supplied, I retired to a 
house at Spilsby in Lincolnshire, belonging to my 
friend Charles Brackenbury, a fellow collegian, and 
on my return to London I put Greenway's plan 
into execution. It would have been well, had I only 
sold as much stock as would have relieved my ne- 
cessities ; but I sold out a much larger sum. I 
then hired a house at Bedfont on Hounslow Heath, 
and had lodgings in London ; and having plenty of 
cash at command, thought nothing of expense. 
My coachman was a very smart young man, whom 
I had engaged with an excellent character ; but it 
appeared afterwards, he was at that time known 
among his companions by the soubriquet of " Sicc- 
teen-string- Jack" which he had acquired, not, as 
from the sequel might be supposed, from his fre- 
quent escapes from the gallows, but from an im- 
mense tuft of ribbons he wore at the knees of his 
breeches — the fashion of knee-buckles having then 
been given up for ribbons. This man was after- 
wards hanged for highway robbery. I had dis- 
charged him previously, for insolent behaviour to a 
citizen, who had drawn his buggy too close to my 
phaeton at Epsom races. 


From the condition of my hunters while I lived 
in this place, I am certain they were used during 
the night on Hounslow Heath, from which there 
was a back entrance to my yard. During the time 
he lived with me, I had lamed one of my carriage 
horses, and Windsor fair being the next day, Jack 
advised my going there to buy a match for the other. 
Upon my expressing a doubt whether I had a suffi- 
ciency of cash, Jack offered me a £50 note ; but 
fortunately I did not find any to suit, and thus 
escaped possibly being implicated in passing a stolen 

About this time, Mr. Topham who had been 
my contemporary at Cambridge, and who was then 
the editor of the " World? a new and fashionable 
paper, gave a series of characters of the young men 
who then figured about London, and who had been 
educated at Westminster or Eton schools. The 
following appeared under the head of 


* Hamilton — Even* thing is the creature of accident. 
As that works upon time and place, so are the vicissitudes 
which follow : vicissitudes that reach through the whole 
allotment of men — even to the charm of character, and 
the qualities which produce it. 

" Physically speaking, human nature can redress itself 
of climate, can generate warmth in high latitudes, and 
cold at the equator ; but in respect to mind and manners, 
from the law of latitude there is no appeal. Man, like 
the plants that grow for him, has a proper sky and soil : 
with them to nourish j without them to fade. Through 



either kingdom, vegetable and moral, in situations that 
are aquatic, the Alpine nature cannot live ! 

" All this applies to Hamilton — wasting himself at 
Westminster ! 

" ' Wild Nature's vigour working at his root.' 

His situation should have been accordingly, where he 
might have spread wide and struck deep ! 

" With more than boyish aptitudes and abilities, he 
should not thus have been lost among boys. His inces- 
sant intrepidity, his restless curiosity, his undertaking 
spirit, all indicated early maturity — all should have led to 
pursuits, if not better, at least of more spirit and moment 
than the mere mechanism of dead language ! 

" This, by Hamilton disdaining as a business what as 
an amusement perhaps might have delighted him, was 
deemed a dead letter ! and as such neglected, while he 
bestowed himself on other mechanism presenting more 
material objects to the mind. 

" Exercises out of school took place of exercises within. 
Not that, like Sackville or Hawkins, he had a ball at every 
leisure moment in his hand ; but preferably to Fives or 
Cricket, he would amuse himself in mechanical pursuits, 
little in themselves, but great as to what they might have 
been convertible. 

* In the fourth form he produced a red shoe of his own 
making ; and though he never made a pocket watch, and 
probably might mar many, yet all the interior machinery 
he knew and could name : the whole movement he took 
to pieces, and replaced. 

* The man who is to find out the longitude, cannot 
have beginnings better than these. Count Bruhl, since 
Mudge's death, the best watch-maker of his time, did not 
raise more early wonder. 



" Besides this, Hamilton was to be found in every 
daring oddity. Lords Burlington and Kent, in all their 
rage for pediments, were nothing to him in a rage for 
pediments. For often has the morning caught him scal- 
ing the high pediments of the school -door, and at peril of 
his life, clambering down, opening the door within, before 
the boy who kept the gate could come with the key. His 
evenings set upon no less perils : in pranks with gun- 
powder, in leaping from unusual heights into the Thames ! 
As a practical geographer of London, and heaven only 
knows how many miles round, omniscient Jackson himself 
could not know more. 

• All this, surely, was intrinsically right — wrong only 
in its direction. Had he been sent to Woolwich, he 
might have come out, if not a rival of the Duke of Rich- 
mond, at least a first-rate engineer. In economic arts 
and improvements nothing less than national, he might 
have been the Duke of Bridgewater of Ireland. Had the 
sea been his profession, Lord Mulgrave might have been 
less alone in the rare union of science and enterprise. 

" But all this capability of usefulness and fail* fame, 
was brought to nought by the obstinate absurdity of the 
people about him. Nothing could wean them from 
Westminster. His grandfather, Rowan, or Rohan, fellow 
of Trinity College, and afterwards King's Counsel in 
Ireland, having quitted that kingdom, resided in Rath- 
bone-place, possessed of great wealth, tenacious of his 
opinions, and absolute nonsense was his conduct to his 
grandson. He persevered in the school ; where, if a boy 
disaffects book-knowledge, his books are only bought and 
— sold. And after Westminster, when the old man died, 
as if solicitous that every thing about his grave, but poppy 
and mandragora, should grow downwards, his will de- 



clared his grandson the heir, but not to inherit till he 
graduated at Cambridge. 

" To Cambridge therefore he went ; where having pur- 
sued his studies, as it is called, in a ratio inverse and de- 
scending, he might have gone on from bad to worse, and 
so, as many do, putting a grave face upon it, he might 
have had his degree. But his animal spirits and love of 
bustle could not go off thus undistinguished ; and so, 
after coolly attempting to throw a tutor into the Cam — 
after shaking all Cambridge from its propriety by a 
night's frolic, in which he climbed the sign-posts and 
changed the principal signs, he was rusticated, till the 
good humour of the university returning, he was re- 
admitted, and enabled to satisfy his grandfather's will ! 

" Through the intercourse of private life he is very 
amiable. The same suavity of speech, courteous atten- 
tions, and general good nature he had when a boy, are 
continued and improved. Good qualities the more to be 
prized, as the less probable, from his bold and eager 
temper, from the turbulence of his wishes, and the hurry 
of his pursuits !" 

[The society into which Rowan was thrown, at 
that period of his life when almost all impressions 
are stamped most deeply on the mind, had a certain 
and inevitable tendency to produce and foster those 
political sentiments for which he afterwards became 
so distinguished. Those whom he mentions as 
frequent visitors at his grandfather's house were, 
all of them, men of eminent literary character and 
liberal political opinions. Bonnell Thornton, pro- 



fessedly a man of letters, contributed largely to the 
principal periodicals of the day, and was particu- 
larly concerned in M The Student, or Oxford 
Monthly Miscellany," and the 44 Connoisseur." He 
also assisted Warner and Colruan in a translation 
of Plautus ; and in various modes successfully dis- 
played a taste for ridicule and satire. Churchill and 
Lloyd were congenial spirits. Johnson has given 
them a place in his M Lives of the Poets." Lloyd, 
according to Wilkes, as quoted by the biographer, 
44 was mild and affable in private life, of gentle 
manners, and very en<jajrin<j in conversation. He 
was an excellent scholar, an easy natural poet." 
His chief poem ** The -Actor," addressed to Bon- 
nell Thornton, Esq. had such success that it 44 pro- 
bably incited Churchill to try his powers on a simi- 
lar subject," and accordingly he produced his 
"Kosciad ," which was universal! v read and admired. 
t; At this period," says Johnson, in his life of 
Churchill, 44 the political dissentions increasing 
every day, at length became so violent, that few 
persons escaped being influenced in some manner 
by them. Mr. Churchill had contracted an inti- 
macy with the heads of the party then called 
the opposition, and, agreeably to the warmth of 
his temper, endeavoured to promote the interest 
of those with whom he was connected, by every 
effort in his power." The junction of Dr. Lucas 
to such a triumvirate of wits as Thornton, Lloyd, 
and Churchill, could not fail to keep alive the poli- 
tical excitement. In this 44 indefatigable Tribune's 
writings," as the redoubtable Captain Rock testifies, 



u the first dawnings of a national and Irish feeling 
are to be found." For his able vindication of the 
rights of his fellow citizens, he experienced the 
usual consequences* — he was idolized by the people 
— then prosecuted — driven into exile — restored — • 
honoured with a seat in the House of Commons as 
the representative of the city of Dublin — and had 
his statue in marble, holding Magna Charta in his 
hand, and standing on a pedestal adorned with a 
figure of liberty in bas relief, erected in the Royal 
Exchange by his friends and admirers-f* — in Ire- 
land a most rare, if not an unprecedented and sin- 
gular honor ! 

From the paper in " The World," though 
coloured, perhaps, a little too highly, we may learn 
that a fondness for distinction formed a prominent 
feature in Mr. Rowan's character, and that he 
sought it not only in trifles, but in ways more suited 

* " ' The Appeal' of Sir Richard Cox charged Lucas with being 
a Papist, because he was a patriot." — Wyse's History of the 
Catholic Association, vol. 1, p. 46. — In the title page of his works, 
published in London, 1751, Lucas styles himself " a Free Citizen 
of Dublin while Dublin was, now an Exile for the cause of Truth 
and the Liberty of Ms country." And elsewhere he says : " I 
have attended constantly, closely, strictly to my duty ; I have 
broken my health, impaired my fortune, hurt my family, and lost 
an object dearer to me than life, by engaging in this painful, 
perilous, thankless service." He died on the 4th of November, 
1771, leaving behind him the character of a man whom, from his 
first entrance into political life, no promises or offers could seduce 
from untainted patriotism. — Ryan's Worthies of Ireland, vol. 2, 
pp. 3S6, 387. 

Comperit invidiam supremo fine domari. 
f Whitelav and Walsh's History of Dublin. 



to his active and courageous spirit. The love of 
approbation, under proper direction and controul, 
leads to the most beneficial results ; but if indulged 
to excess under mistaken views of man's true honor 
and glory, it may lead only to the bad pre-eminence 
of guilt. — It may create a Howard or a Cataline, 
a saint or a devil. While Mr. Rowan was at 
Westminster and Cambridge — to take an active 
part in contriving and executing schemes of mis- 
chievous frolic, was deemed as necessary among 
youths of family and fortune, as duelling and its 
kindred iniquities among their seniors. The stu- 
dents of more than one school or university have 
been renowned for such acts, as, in our more civi- 
lized times, would inflict a merited stigma, but 
which were then considered as liiirh and honourable 
achievements. Sir Jonah Barrimxton savs that when 
he was at Dublin University, " the students were 
wild and lawless ; — an offence to one was consi- 
dered as an offence to all ; and as the elder sons of 
most men of rank and fortune in Ireland, were then 
educated in Dublin college, it was dangerous to 
meddle with so powerful a set of students, who 
consequently did precisely what they chose (outside 
the college gates.) If they conceived offence 
against any body, the collegians made no scruple 
of bringing the offender into the court and pumping 
him well ; and their unanimity and number were 
so great, that it was quite impossible any youth 
could be selected for punishment. In my time, 
we used to break open what houses we pleased I 


regularly beating the watch every night, except in 
our own parish, which we always kept in pay to 
lend us their poles wherewith to fight the others. 
In short our conduct was outrageous. ^ In another 
passage the same amusing writer informs us that 
" the young gentlemen of the University occa- 
sionally forced themselves into the Pit, (of the 
Theatre) to revenge some insult real or imagined, 
to a member of their body, on which occasions 
all the ladies, well dressed men, and peaceable 
people generally decamped ; and the young gentle- 
men as generally proceeded to beat or turn out the 
residue of the audience, and to break every thing 
that came within their reach. These exploits were 
by no means uncommon ; and the number and 
rank of the young culprits were so great, that 
(coupled with the impossibility of selecting the 
guilty) the college would have been nearly depopu- 
lated, and many of the great families of Ireland 
enraged beyond measure, had any of the students 
been expelled or even rusticated. 1 ' 

That similar practises prevailed at the great 
English seats of learning might be inferred, in 
want of more positive proof, from the following 
instances. Our hero, while at Westminster school, 
contrived with some other scholars bent on fun, 
to find his way at an unseasonable hour into the 
abbey, and to bring away the helmet of one of the 
statues, or armorial ensigns, in that venerable pile 
— a frolic which might have been followed by seri- 
ous consequences — but which was considered by its 



agents as a daring and heroic achievement. — While 
at Cambridge he and several of his fellow students 
were in the habit of meeting in each other's cham- 
bers, and indulging in rude and boisterous mirth. 
On one of these occasions they engaged in a rough 
sport, which led them to throw the furniture out 
of the windows, part of which fell on a gentle- 
man's coach passing at the time. The coach stop- 
ped, and an explanation of so extraordinary a phe- 
nomenon was demanded. The students went out 
to explain and apologize, when the coachman using 
some insolent language, Mr. Rowan seized him in 
his powerful arms and flung him into the Cam. 
Happily he escaped drowning, and was restored to 
good temper by an application of the universal 
panacea — some pieces of bright and yellow gold. 
For this, or some similar exploits, Mr. Rowan in- 
curred the penalty of rustication — and it was not 
improbably during its continuance, that he found a 
retreat where his time might be profitably spent, 
under good Dr. Enfield in Warrington Academy. 
This however is only offered as a conjecture. But 
it is certain that he was at that celebrated 
academy, rather perhaps as a visitor than a resi- 
dent pupil, though the precise time has not been 
ascertained. He has been heard to say that Letitia 
Aikin, afterwards Mrs. Barbauld, was his first love 
— a declaration indicative of his taste and discri- 
mination ; for in mental and personal accomplish- 
ments few, if any, could vie with that excellent 
lady. Her biographer informs us that " she was 



at this time possessed of great beauty, distinct 
traces of which she retained to the latest period of 
life. Her person was slender, her complexion ex- 
quisitely fair, with the bloom of perfect health ; her 
features were regular and elegant, and her dark 
blue eyes beamed with the light of wit and fancy."* 
Another anecdote has been recorded of Mr. 
Rowan, highly characteristic of his daring and 
generous spirit. While quartered at Grosport, as 
Captain of Grenadiers in the Huntingdon militia, 
some person undertook for a bet to swim in his 
clothes from Grosport to Plymouth, but when brought 
to the trial, blenched, and refused to make the at- 
tempt. Rowan, supposing that the man could not 
afford to lose the bet though small, offered to take 
his place, and of course to win or pay. The offer 
was accepted, and many bets were made on the oc- 
casion, as he was to swim in his full regimental 
dress, and across a tide that runs with great impe- 
tuosity. Accordingly he slung his fusee on his 
back — for at that time grenadier officers, as well as 
private soldiers, carried fusees — and like another 
Cassius, " accoutred as he was, he plunged in," 

" And breasted 
The surge most swollen that met him ; his bold head 
'Bove the contentious waves he kept, and oar'd 
Himself with his good arms, in lusty strokes, 
To the shore that o'er Ms wave-worn basis bow'd, 
As stooping to relieve him." 

* Mrs. Barbauld's Works, edited, with a memoir of her life, 
by Lucy Aiken. 



When about half way across, he lost his grenadier 
cap, but performed the feat, and landed on the 
Portsmouth side amidst the cheers of the spec- 
tators and the congratulations of his friends and 
brother officers who followed him in boats. The 
person who lost refused to pay. Baying the condition 
was, that he was to swim over fully accoutred, and 
that by losing his cap he lost the bet. Mr. Rowan 
asked his friends and the people around him, 
61 What is your opinion f 1 * ; That the loser is no 
gentleman," answered they ; M and if he does not 
pay, we will tie him to a boat and swim him over 
to Gosport in tow." u Very well," said Rowan ; 
* I care little for myself, but I do for those who 
staked their money on me ; and had you said I lost, 
as no time was mentioned, I should have borrowed 
another cap, tied it on, and while I was wet, have 
swum back to Gosport." The bets were all paid : 
and it may seems carcely necessary to add, that two 
gold watches, which he was accustomed to carry, 
were, with his uniform, completely spoiled by the 
salt water. 

Mr. Rowan's interview with Celestine the nun 
may remind the reader of a somewhat similar tale 
in the life of Edward Lord Herbert, written by him- 
self: — and this is not the only instance of simili- 
tude in the histories of Mr. Rowan and the 

* This, I presume, vras a more arduous exploit than Lord 
Byron's and Lieutenant Ekenhead's swimming across the Helles- 



philosopher of Cherbury. "Among the favours 
shewn me," says the latter, " I was brought to see a 
nun at Murino, who being an admirable beauty, 
and together singing extremely well, who was 
thought one of the rarities not only of that place 
but of the time ; we came to a room opposite unto 
the cloyster, whence she coming on the other side 
of the grate betwixt us, sung so extremely well, 
that when she departed neither my Lord Ambas- 
sador nor his lady, who were then present, could 
find as much as a word of fitting language to return 
her for the extraordinary music she gave us ; when 
I, being ashamed that she should go back without 
some testimony of the sense we held both of the 
harmony of her beauty and her voice, said in Ita- 
lian, Moria pur quando vuol, non bisogna mutar ni 
voce ni facia per esser un angelo ; i Die whensoever 
you will, you neither need to change voice nor 
face to be an angel.'' These words it seemed 
were fatal, for going thence to Rome, and returning 
shortly afterwards, I heard she was dead in the 
mean time." 

In Dublin, 1786, was published a small volume, 
entitled " Love and Madness, a story too true, in a 
series of letters," containing an account of the Miss 
Hay noticed in the memoir, which had been pre- 
viously published in the Hibernian Magazine for 
1779. In that article Miss Ray's character and 
accomplishments are compared to those of Sem- 
pronia in Sallust. She had numerous admirers ; but 



none so favoured as Mr. Haekman, a young mili- 
tary officer of fine person, cultivated mind, and 
captivating manners — full of sentimentality withal, 
of poetry, and the " Sorrows of Werter." After 
spending some time in Ireland, in his military ca- 
pacity, he exchanged the sword for the gown and 
entered into orders. Miss Ray, in the mean time, 
had put herself under the protection of Lord Sand- 
wich, by whom she had five children. Notwith- 
standing this, such was the infatuation of Haekman, 
that he urged her to become his wife, and with so 
much importunity that she was obliged perempto- 
rily to forbid his presence and correspondence. On 
this he " charged his pistols with the kindest letter 
she ever wrote him," determined to blow out his 
brains in her presence, as she came out of the 
theatre. He failed in the attempt ; and seeing her 
offer her hand to one whom he supposed a favoured 
lover, instigated by jealousy and madness, he per- 
petrated the rash deed by which his mistress fell, 
and his own life was forfeited to the laws. While 
in prison, he received the following note : — 


" 17 April, '79. 

" If the murderer of Miss wishes to live, 

the man he has most injured will use all his interest 
to procure his life." 

For this most generous conduct of Lord Sand- 
wich, the unhappy criminal expressed due gratitude, 
while he declined the offer, stating that his " wishes 
were for death, not for life." — Ed.] 





Retrospect of a journey to Ireland during his minority — Matthias 
O'Byrne — his history — Adventure at Vauxhall — Introduction 
to Lord Lyttleton — O'Byrne's generosity — Suicide of a distin- 
guished gambler — Remarkable dream, and death of Lord Lyt- 
tleton — Death of O'Byrne — Mr. Rowan visits Rouen — Holker, 
the first who established the cotton manufacture in France — 
Count O'Rourke — Dr. Franklin — George Robert Fitzgerald — 
Anecdote — Major Baggs — Mr. Rowan acts as a friend to 
Fitzgerald in his duel with Baggs — Account of the hostile 
meeting — Mr. Rowan returns to Paris — [Additions.] 

Notwithstanding the injunctions in my grand- 
fathers will, I made more than one trip across the 
channel to see Ireland during my minority. Park- 
gate was the usual port from which passengers 
sailed for Dublin. Those who chose to go by 
Holyhead, hired horses at Chester, which cost a 
moidore each ; but they only set out when six or 
eight passengers assembled. 

At the ferry of Conway an old woman had a 
cabin, where she lighted signals for the ferrymen 
to come over from the town. To get to the boat 
you were obliged to take guides along the shore, 
which they said abounded with dangerous quick- 
sands, changing with every tide. This was the 
first day's journey ; the next day you had to cross 
another ferry to reach Bangor, and then cross over 




Penmaen Mawr ; or if the tide was out, you went 
along the coast. In one of these journeys I met 
Matthias O'Byrne, whom I esteemed till his death, 
as one of my earliest and most sincere friends. He 
was of an old Catholic family, and had been sent 
to Germany in his youth, to acquire that education 
which was then refused to a Catholic at home. His 
father, who was a wine-merchant in Dublin, died 
during his absence, and all his property was divided 
(according to law in those days) among his family at 
his death. He had entered the Austrian service, 
and on his father's death he came over to Ireland 
to receive his share of the property ; but his elder 
brother was a hon vicant, and had dissipated almost 
the whole of the old man's money. 

O'Bvrne had nothing now to rely on but a sub- 
lieutenancy in the German service, to which, when 
I met him, he was returning. We travelled toge- 
ther to London in a stage ; and having one evening- 
gone to Vauxhall together, we found the Rev. Mr. 
Bate, editor of the Morning Post, in a squabble 
with the honorable Mr. Lyttleton and some of his 
party, whom he accused of having behaved imper- 
tinently to his wife and her sister Mrs. Hartley. 
Nothing could be more likely, as they were both 
fine women, and Yauxhall w r as a place to which 
young men were accustomed to go to sport the lat- 
ter part of the day, in search of adventures. Mr. 
Bate had fixed upon Mr. Lyttleton, and lifting 
his cane threatened to strike him. This roused 
O'Byrne's military feelings, which were encreased 
n 2 



by the physical disproportion of the antagonists : 
Bate being a strong athletic figure, while the other 
presented that of an emaciated, but elegant de- 
bauchee. CTByrne rushed forward, and with an 
ejaculation, the tone of which denoted his birth- 
place, swore, if he struck the gentleman, he would 
run his sword through his body ; but added, if 
nothing but boxing would satisfy him, he would 
take a round with him. Lyttleton was by no 
means ill pleased to have found a substitute. 
Bate's ladies accepted of apologies, and O'Byrne 
was invited to sup with Mr. Lyttleton's party. In 
the course of the evening CPByrne mentioned his 
situation and place of destination. Mr. Lyttleton 
likewise was to set out for Vienna in a few days : 
his party consisted of a lady and her maid ; and 
the fourth place in the carriage was offered to 
CTByrne, which he accepted. 

While on the road, they were overtaken by an 
express which brought an account of Lord Lyt- 
tlet oil's death. Mr. now Lord Lyttleton, offered to 
reconduct CTByrne to London, and invited him to 
reside in his house till he could procure him a com- 
mission in the British service, and promised to 
assist his promotion. For about one year he re- 
mained Lord Lyttleton's guest, and made several 
friends by his constant good humour and well placed 
eccentricity ; but my Lord seemed to have for- 
gotten his promises, and CTByrne felt himself in a 
state of dependence from which he determined to 
relieve himself. Count Belgioso, the Austrian am- 



bassador in London, had commanded the regiment 
in which O'Byrne had served ; he waited on him, 
candidly laid his state before him, and through his 
interest with Lord Rochfort, the Count procured 
for him an ensigncy in the 13th regiment. In 
that capacity, with a light wallet, and a lighter 
purse, he marched with a recruiting party to 
Brighton, and quartered at Shergold's. N 

A Mr. Salvador, a rich Jew merchant, young, 
gay, fond of company and play, was confined to his 
room then by a fit of gout. He desired Shergold 
to invite the officer who had come with the recruit- 
ing party to dine with him. Salvador was pleased 
with his companion ; they chatted, they drank, and 
they played, and in a short time O'Byrne returned 
to London in a chaise and four with about £1,000 
in his purse. With this nest-egg he obtained leave 
to recruit in London — was proposed at most of the 
fashionable clubs, where he met numbers whose 
society he had cheered while he was a visitor of 
Lord Lyttleton's. He continued to play with the 
most constant success, nor did I ever hear a whisper 
against his integrity. He took a house in Pall 
Mall, and was both invited by and entertained per- 
sons of the highest rank. At one time his success 
was such, that he had realised about i?2,000 per 
annum, and had a good sum at his bankers to call 
on. His prosperity did not change his character ; 
he was never known to be denied to those who 
had been his early companions — particularly if they 
wanted his assistance. I must relate one transac- 
d 3 


tion as a proof of his friendly conduct towards a 
young man, one of his acquaintances. The daughter 
of a rich citizen, Mr. Jones, at Hammersmith, had 
become attached to this handsome young man. On 
his proposal of marriage, the father asked him his 
means of support, to which he answered evasively ; 
and he recounted this to O'Byrne in despair. 
" Well," said O'Byrne, " you did not lose your 
presence of mind I hope ; come along with me." 
He took him to his bankers, and desired the whole 
sum he possessed in their hands to be laid out in 
the public funds in his friend's name. 44 Now," 
said O'Byrne, " take the old gentleman to the bank 
to-morrow, and that will satisfy him." He did so, 
and obtained his consent to the marriage. Mr. 
Jones, however, died suddenly, previous to the day 
on which the ceremony was to take place ; the 
lady was under age, and her uncle (a lawyer) then 
became her guardian ; and as there was no time to 
be lost, O'Byrne gave him his chaise and the money 
to convey them to Gretna Green. 

I must be excused from mentioning one more 
trait of my deceased friend's character. During 
his prosperity, a party of us had engaged some 
persons to dine at the Shakspere, who excelled in 
Bacchanalian songs ; but they disappointed us ; 
and while we were waiting for half price at the 
theatre, some of us stuck to the claret, while others, 
among whom were Felton, Harvey, and O'Byrne, 
commenced what they called chicken hazard. On 
settling their accounts, Mr. Harvey owed O'Byrne 



^SOO ; he said he had but i?500 about him, and 
proposed that they should play double or quits for 
that sum. O'Byrne accepted the challenge, and 
his luck was such, that the debt shortly amounted 
to the sum of <£ 190,000. (TByrne then asked 
Harvey how much he was worth in the world I 
Harvey answered warmly : " Sir, if it was ^200,000 
you shall be paid. 1 ' And in truth he had within a 
ring- fence in Oxfordshire, about £4,000 per annum. 
O 'Byrne then said, " You are the first man I ever 
won a large sum from, after having dined in his 
company ; and to teach you not to be so head- 
strong in future, I will keep £10,000, and throw 
with you double or quits for the remainder of the 
whole sum." The few who had remained in the 
room, were requested by Harvey not to speak of 
the business, and he and CTByrne then went away 
in the carriage of the former. Next day, on en- 
tering the Cocoa Tree coffee-house in Pall Mall, 
which was our usual place of evening meeting, I 
was surprised at hearing O'Byrne relating the ad- 
venture of the evening before. I asked him why 
he had broken his word to Harvey ; and his answer 
was — " You know I went away with Harvey ; and 
as he had desired the affair to be kept secret, I 
asked whether he would tell Kitty of what had 
passed ; he said he never kept any thing from 
her ; and I was determined Kitty should not have 
the first telling of the story." In less than three 
years after, Mr. Harvey was completely ruined — 
bought a brace of pistols at Warden's shop, went 


into the yard on pretence of trying them, and shot 

Calling one morning, with O'Byrne, on Lord 
Lyttleton, to compliment him on a very spirited 
speech he had made the previous night in the 
House of Lords, we found him recounting a dream 
he had the same night. He said he thought he 
had been awakened by a noise similar to the flut- 
tering of a bird in the cage ; that he looked up and 
saw the figure of a female, who addressed him : 
" Lyttleton, beware, for you have only three days to 
liver He was engaged to go that day to a country 
house he had purchased from O 1 Kelly, near Epsom, 
with Lady Flood and the two Misses Amflets : and 
the remainder of this story was repeated to me by 
George, his favourite attendant servant, as follows. 
On the third day after his dream, Lord Lyttleton was 
attacked by a sickness during dinner, and obliged 
to leave the table : it lasted, however, but a short 
time ; and on his return, he ordered a favourite 
dish, eggs dressed in a particular mode, which he 
eat with appetite, and thought no more of the 
matter. In the evening he was pointing out to the 
ladies the excellence of some prints of Hogarth\s, 
and on taking leave of the company, he looked at 
his watch and said : "It is now near twelve 6 'clock ; 
I think, girls, I shall cheat the ghost this timer He 
then went into his bed-room, and while putting on 
his night-gown, said : "It is very fortunate I threw 
up that nasty stuff ; however, I will take some tinc- 
ture of rhubarb George poured some into a glass, 



with water, and took up Lord Lyttleton's tooth-pick 
case to stir it, when his master said : " You dirty 
dog, get a spoon" George went down stairs, and 
on his return, found him speechless in his chair, 
and in a short time he expired. 

To return to O'Byrne. After his income being 
reduced by bad luck, (which he said had pursued 
him from the moment he had staked £1,000 against 
a seat in the Irish Parliament,) he went to Bath, 
and being engaged to dine with a friend a few miles 
off, while scolding the postillion for not driving 
faster, he burst a blood-vessel, and died in the 

I then went to reside at Kouen, where I became 
acquainted with a gentleman of the name of Holker, 
who had established the first cotton manufactory in 
France. He had been engaged in that manufac- 
ture in Manchester ; but having been implicated in 
the rebellion of 1745, he was confined in Newgate, 
in the same room with a Mr. Dickinson, a sufferer 
in the same cause. Here they contrived to break 
a hole through the wall, over some low buildings 
which were on that side of the prison, and suspend- 
ing a rope from thence, Mr. Dickinson descended 
first, but Holker, who was a lustier man, stuck 
fast. In this dilemma Mr. D. had the fortitude 
and friendship to return by the rope, and enlarge 
the hole so as to extricate his companion. They both 
arrived safe in France, where Mr. Dickinson, who 
had no profession, continued to live with his friend 
Holker. Mr. Holker, previous to establishing this 



manufacture, presented to the British minister a 
memorial of his views, setting forth the advantages 
likely to accrue to himself and to France from the 
introduction of that branch of trade, and promising 
to forego them, if he was permitted to return to 
England. This was refused ; he established the 
factory, and his son was at this time Inspector- 
General of all the foreign manufactures of France. 

I also became acquainted with Count O'Rourke, 
who was suing the Duchess De Cresne for the 
amount of several of her notes of hand. He was 
called on to prove what value he had given for 
them. Among a list of various presents to her, he 
inserted a phaeton and a pair of poneys, with a 
separate charge for breaking them to harness. In 
his plaidoyer, he called himself CfRourJce Prince of 
Breffny, <$fc. <$fc. The gentleman who defended the 
Duchess, played so successfully on this demand of 
the Irish prince against the Duchess De Cresne, as 
to raise great mirth in the court, and so exasperated 
the Count, that he started up on the advocates'' 
table, and seized the lawyer by the nose. All be- 
came confusion, and O'Rourke was committed to 
prison ; from which, however, Louis XVI. almost 
immediately released him. 

From Rouen, after a short visit to England, I 
went to Paris. Although the war with America 
was then going on, Paris was thronged with Eng- 
lish ; and the only impediment to the intercourse 
between the two nations, was in being obliged to go 
thither by Ostend instead of Calais. I was politely 


received by all the authorities there, and became 
acquainted with Dr. Franklin, which I esteemed no 
small honor. I received a visit from an old friend, 
who had the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the 
British army, accompanied by a lieutenant of a 
man-of-war, of old standing, but without interest, 
and of course without hope of promotion. Their 
object was to obtain commissions in the American 
army and navy : they applied to me to introduce 
them to Dr. Franklin. The Doctor received them 
politely ; but said he was not authorised to make 
any military appointments ; yet was certain every 
attention would be paid to them, should they go To 
America. This was a risk they did not choose to 
venture ; and some years after, the one died com- 
manding a regiment of loyal Americans, who were 
to serve only in the islands ; and the other a com- 
modore in the British navy. 

During my first residence at Paris, a circum- 
stance occurred which produced a kind of acquaint- 
ance with George Robert Fitzgerald ; although, at 
Fontainbleau. his character for high play and duel- 
lino; had determined me against forming anv with 
him. though he was in great favor even at court. 
I had an English horse, which I meant to sell, and 
for which I asked 100 guineas. Mr. Fitzgerald 
came to see him, agreed to the price, and £ave me 
an order on Sir John Lambert, his banker. This oc- 
curred at Fontainbleau. and I sent the order to Per- 
rigaux to receive the cash. When I came to Paris 
I found Sir John had made several apologies, but 



the money was not paid. My friends bantered me 
for having, after all my caution, made the acquaint- 
ance and lost my horse. However I wrote a note 
to Mr. Fitzgerald, saying that I feared the horse 
- had not answered his expectations, and therefore 
enclosed his draught on Sir John Lambert, and 
should desire my servant to call for the horse at 
his stables. This note I took myself to his stables, 
and desired his groom to bring the horse out ; he 
did so. I made my servant change the halter and 
lead the horse to my stable, and gave his groom 
the note with my compliments for his master. 

Instead of the cartel which my friends assured me 
must ensue, I received a polite letter from Mr. 
Fitzgerald, apologising for Sir John Lambert's not 
having paid his order, and requesting, should I 
again think of selling the horse, that I would let 
him know. Here our intercourse ended for the 
present, except in common civilities when we casu- 
ally met. 

As I was one evening leaving the Comedie Itali- 
cs o 

enne, I saw my friend Captain Williamson, (son 
of Sir Hedworth Williamson, of Durham) coming 
down stairs from the upper boxes, and having some 
friends to sup with me, asked him to join us. He 
answered he would, had he not invited Mr. Fitz- 
gerald to go home with him. As Mr. Fitzgerald 
was among the crowd a few steps higher, I could 
not avoid asking him, and he accepted my invita- 
tion. Major Baggs was in the lobby below waiting 
for his carriage, but we had no acquaintance with 



him. As soon as Fitzgerald reached the foot of 
the stairs, he advanced to Bagga saying, " I hear, 
Sir, that you report I owe you i?300, which you 
cannot get from me f " Yes, and more," said 
Basrsrs. In the course of the discussion the lie was 
given by Bag^s to Fitzgerald. In those days we 
all wore swords : Fitzgerald laying his hand on his, 
insisted on ffoins: out immediately. Bas^s refused, 
but said he would fight him in a clock-case the 
next day, if he pleased. All this passed in English, 
but, Mr. Fitzgerald having drawn his glove across 
the Major's face, on his refusing to go out immedi- 
ately, the latter threw his chapeau bras at him, 
damning him for a scoundrel. This roused the 
£uard, and they seized Baggs. My carriage being 
at the door at the moment, Mr. Fitzgerald stepped 
into it and drove to my hotel. I followed with Wil- 
liamson in his carriage, who, as we drove home, in- 
formed me that the report was, that a Mr. Sandford 
had been invited by Mr. Fitzgerald to accompany him 
to sup with Major Baggs, who kept a kind of open 
house, but to whom Sandford was a stranger. Sand- 
ford lost a large sum of money at play, and the dis- 
pute was about a division of the booty. The Duke of 
Chartres was one of the party, and we all expected 
a message from the Major ; but none either came 
or was sent to his hotel. In the evening, however, 
Mr. Fitzgerald's servant came to inform him that 
a guard was set on his room. I then offered Mr. 
Fitzgerald a bed in mv hotel, that he misrht not be 
arrested. Two days passed without any thing from 



Baggs. In the evening of the third, I went to the 
opera, where I met Major Baggs, attended by his 
guard. After the piece was over, the Major was 
recounting the affair to some Frenchmen, who were 
in the saloon, and concluded by saying that Mr. 
Fitzgerald had gone off, and had not been heard of 
since. I then accosted Mr. Baggs, and told him 
in French, that if he really did not know where to 
find Mr. Fitzgerald, I believed he was the only 
Englishman who was ignorant of where he could be 
found. The next morning Captain O'Toole, an Irish 
gentleman in the marine service of France, came to 
my lodgings, and asked for Mr. Fitzgerald, who 
referred him to a Mr. Hodges, a West Indian, one 
of the play set, who would act as his friend. Two 
days elapsed before any thing could be agreed on 
between the seconds concerning their meeting. Mr. 
Fitzgerald insisted on going to the field with 
swords as well as pistols, that if the latter did not 
decide the matter, the swords should. Baggs de- 
clared no swords should be taken, but arm chairs, 
flasks of powder, and bags of bullets. At last it 
was agreed that Baggs being in custody in France, 
they should meet in the Austrian territory, on 
the first convenient spot between Valenciennes 
an( j *»***. ^] ia t f,j ie parties should enter 
it at distant parts, each with a brace of loaded 
pistols, and be left to their own discretion as to the 
use they would make of them. The next day was 
appointed to set out. Early in the morning Mr. 
Hodges sent a note to Mr. Fitzgerald, stating that 



he was attacked by a violent fit of the gout, and 
could not rise from his bed. This note was im- 
mediately sent to Major Baggs 1 hotel, but he had 
already left Paris. In this dilemma Mr. Fitz- 
gerald threw himself on me to save his honor, and 
I consented to accompany him as his friend. Now, 
however, a new difficulty presented itself, which 
explained the fit of the gout. Fitzgerald drew me 
a bill for i?100 on Messrs. Biddulph and Cox, to 
get cashed at my banker's, saying his banker, 
Sir John Lambert, was out of town. I took it to 
Monsieur Pauchard, whose answer was, that as soon 
as had heard of its acceptance, he would advance the 
money, but not before. Fitzgerald then requested 
me to draw on Biddulph and Cox for the same sum. 
to whom he would write, and order it to be accepted 
and paid. This I declined, but put my name on his 
bill, for which he received the amount, and I need 
scarcely add that I had it to pay. We then set off 
and arrived at Valenciennes. Mr. Fitzgerald then 
told me, that many persons might suppose that he 
really owed the money to Major Baggs, but that he 
would rather fight than pay, and he desired me to 
call on the Major and ask in what manner he became 
indebted to him. Major Bag2\s received me very 
politely, and while reciting a lono- list of sums he 
had paid for Mr. Fitzgerald, I took out my memo- 
randum book ; but the Major immediately interrup- 
ted me, saying he could not permit any thino- to 
be written in his presence. I answered, having 
delivered my message, I had now nothing more to 



do, as I could not trust my memory with such de- 
tails as he was entering into. When I was at the 
door the Major requested me to stop a moment, 
and said : " Sir, you found me in the act of writing 
to my son, who is of an age to speak to men ; and 
I have desired him, if I should fall, to revenge my 
death ; and I request you will say so to Mr. Fitz- 
gerald.'" I replied, that if he thought such infor- 
mation proper or necessary, he had better send it 
by his friend Mr. O'Toole. It was never delivered 
by either of us. As Captain CTToole and I both 
reprobated the mode of their meeting, which had 
been consented to by Mr. Hodges and OToole, 
we agreed to precede the carriages on horseback 
in the morning, and that as soon as we per- 
ceived a spot in the Austrian territory adapted 
to the purpose, we should mark off eight paces, at 
which distance we should place them ; and they 
agreed to our decision, instead of that formerly in- 
sisted on. A short delay was occasioned by Mr. 
CTToole having mislaid the ramrod of the Majors 
pistols. I offered him the use of Mr. Fitzgerald^s ; 
but he declined it, saying that he had already lost 
a part of his skull in a similar affair with an officer 
of his regiment, by lending his pistols. The ramrod 
was soon found, and the gentlemen had taken their 
ground, when Major Baggs beckoned and spoke to 
Captain O" 1 Toole, who came up to me, and apolo- 
gizing for the suspicion, said he thought Mr. 
Fitzgerald might beplastrone. Fitzgerald, hearing 
what was said, threw off his coat and waistcoat, 



when, to the great surprise of us all, he exhibited 
himself with his shirt tied close round his body, 
bv a broad riband couleur de rose, while narrower 
ones closed his shirt-sleeves round the lower and 
upper joints of the arms. This, he explained to us 
afterwards, was a precaution necessary, from the 
terms first agreed upon for their meeting, by Messrs. 
Hodges and OToole. It now became my duty to 
examine the Major's body. On my advancing 
towards him, he unbuttoned all his coats, and 
throwing them open, said to me, " Sir, you may 
feel me." I replied, that the suspicion having ori- 
ginated with him, I must insist on his following 
Mr. Fitzgerald's example, and stripping, as he had 
done. He did so immediately. It was a strong 
frost, and the Major asked me might he put on his 
clothes again. To which Mr. Fitzgerald imme- 
diately answered : " Oh, let the Major be covered." 
They were now standing on the ground we had 
marked. Major Baggs sunk on his quarters, some- 
thing like the Scottish lion ; Fitzgerald stood as 
one who had made a lounge in fencing. They fired 
together, and were in the act of levelling their 
second pistols, when Major Baggs sunk on his side, 
saying, " Sir, I am wounded." " But you are not 
dead," replied Fitzgerald ; and at the same moment 
discharged his second pistol at his fallen enemy. 
Baggs immediately started on his legs, and ad- 
vanced on Fitzgerald, who throwing his pistol at 
him, quitted his station, and kept a zig-zag course 
across the field, Baggs following him. I saw the 



flash of the Majors second pistol, and at the same 
moment Fitzgerald lay stretched on the ground. 
I was just time enough to catch Baggs as he was 
falling after having fired his second shot. He 

© © 

swooned from intense pain, the small bone of his 
leg being broken. Mr. Fitzgerald came up to us, 
saying, " We are both wounded ; let us go back to 
the ground.**' But Baggs was taken to his carriage. 

© ©© © 

As I was assisting Fitzgerald, whose wound was 
in the fleshy part of his thigh, I could not avoid 
asking him how he came to discharge his second 
pistol. His answer was : " I should not have done 
so to any man but Baggs."'' I had the precaution, 
as it was an affair likely to make some noise in 
Paris, to draw up an exact account of all the occur- 
rences during the day at Valenciennes, and imme- 
diately on our return, I read it to Captain O'Toole, 
who signed it with me. Major Baggs, thinking he 
would have better surgical aid at Brussels than at 
Valenciennes, went thither without delay. During 
the morning I had waited on the Governor of Va- 
lenciennes, to show him the report I had drawn up, 
and gave him a copy of it. I remained two days 
with Fitzgerald, and was preparing to return to 
Paris, when I received a message desiring me to 
call on the Governor. He told me that he had 
orders from Paris to send there all those concerned 
in the late duel under care of an exempt ; that 
he found Mr. Fitzgerald could not be removed as 
yet ; and that as Mr. O'Toole had accompanied his 
friend to Brussels, I was the only person liable to 



the order he had received. " But," added he, " the 
first time you came to me, I think I saw something 
at your watch-chain like a mosaic jewel ; are you 
a brother V I told him I had been initiated while 
at Cambridge, and had been master of that lodge, 
and the jewel he had seen was one of past-master. 
On this he said, " Will you give me your word as 
a brother mason, that as soon as you arrive at 
Paris, you will go to the Hotel de Montmorenci, 
where you will get further orders. On my arrival 
in Paris, I did so, and the only issue was my leav- 
ing my card there, and receiving one in return. 

[The Right Hon. Thomas Lord Lyttleton, noticed 
in the memoir, was the son of George Lord Lyt- 
tleton the poet and historian, and author of " Ob- 
servations on the Conversion and Apostleship of 
St. Paul." He acquired some distinction in Parlia- 
ment as an eloquent speaker ; and as Dr. Robert 
Anderson, in his edition of the British Poets, ob- 
serves, " was as remarkable for an early display, 
as for a flagitious prostitution, of great abilities." 
He died Nov. 27th, 1779 ; and it is stated in the 
obituary of the GentlemarCs Magazine for that 
month, (p. 567) that " his Lordship had supped, 
and was apparently in good health a few minutes 
before.'" But dissipation had done its work, and 
his sudden and premature fate might have been 
anticipated without warning from a ghost. 



Sir Jonah Barrington, in his "Personal Sketches," 
gives us some curious anecdotes of George Robert 
Fitzgerald. " There were few men," says he, " who 
nourished in my early days, that excited more ge- 
neral or stronger interest. He was born to an 
ample fortune, educated in the best society, had 
read much, travelled, and been distinguished at 
foreign courts ; he was closely allied to one of the 
most popular, and also one of the most eminent 
personages of his own country ; being brother-in- 
law to Mr. Thomas Conolly, of Castletown, and 
nephew to the splendid, learned, and ambitious 
Earl of Bristol, Bishop of Derry : yet so powerfully 
did some demon seize upon his mind, and, let us 
hope, disorder his intellect, that though his stand- 
ing was thus brilliant, his life presented one con- 
tinuous series of outrage, and his death was a death 
of ignominy." Sir Jonah subjoins in a note, that 
" a more polished and elegant gentleman was not 
to be met with : his person was very slight and 
juvenile, his countenance extremely mild and in- 
sinuating ; and knowing that he had a turn for 
single combat, I always fancied him too genteel to 
kill any man except with the small sword." 

That Major Baggs had good reason to suspect 
him to be plastrone, or to have armour concealed 
under his dress, may be learned from Sir Jonah's 
account of another duel, in which Fitzgerald was a 
principal. Mr. Richard Martin had been brutally 
insulted by him in the Dublin Theatre. A meeting 
was the consequence. Mr. Martin, as quoted by 



Sir Jonah, says. " I advanced until our pistols 
touched, we both fired ; he missed me, hut I hit 
him full in the breast, and he fell back, supporting 
himself by a projection of rock, and exclaimed. 
4 Honour, Martin, honour P 

" I said, 4 if you are not disabled, I will wait as 
long as you choose P 

44 At this moment he couched treacherously like 
a cat, presented, fired, and hit me ; I returned the 
fire and hit him ; he again recovered, came up, 
begged my pardon, asked to shake hands, and said, 
1 Altamont has caused all this, and now would not 
send you his carriage : let us both kick him P 

" Notwithstanding this rencontre, and Fitzgerald 
having asked pardon, he provoked a second meet- 
ing. He named the day, to which I assented. It 
was reported, but I cannot vouch for the fact, that 
a party was sent to intercept and murder me. 
Shortly after I reached Sligo, my opponent sent 
Sir M. Crofton to say that 4 Mr. Fitzgerald did 
not require any further renewal of the quarrel," and 
thus the affair ended. My surprise at Fitzgerald 
being alive and well, after having received two 
shots from horse pistols full upon him, was soon 
cleared up. He had plated his body, so as to make 
them completely bullet-proof. On receiving my 
fire, he fell from the force of the balls striking him 
and touching his concealed armour. My wound 
was in the body. 

44 The elegant and gentlemanly appearance of 
this man, as contrasted with the savage treachery 



of his actions, was extremely curious, and without 
any parallel of which I am aware. 

" Having long had a design to put one Mr. 
M'Donnell, of his county, hors de combat, for some 
old grudge, he determined to seek an opportunity 
of doing it under the colour of Mr. M'DonnelFs 
illegal resistance to a law process, which process 

Mr. T had (innocently) executed ; in which 

case the attorney would, of course, as sportsmen 
say, 6 be in at the death.'' At length he found an 
old lawyer, who, with the aid of Mr. T 's eject- 
ments, leases, &c. struck out a legal pretence for 
shooting Mr. M'Donnell. This man, whose name 
was Brecknock, and who acted for Fitzgerald as 
agent, adviser, attorney, &c. was hanged for his 
pains, as an accessary before the fact, in giving 
Mr. Fitzgerald a legal opinion ; and Mr. Fitzgerald 
himself was hanged for the murder, solely on the 
evidence of his own groom. Scotch Andrew, the 
man who really committed it by firing the fatal 
blunderbuss, there can be no doubt deserved the 
death he met ; but there is also no doubt he was 
not legally convicted : and old Judge Robinson, 
then accounted the best lawyer on the bench, sar- 
castically remarked that ' the murderer was mur- 
dered.' %Ed.] 



Appointed Lieutenant- Colonel in the Portuguese army — Arrives 
in the Tagus — Marquis of Pombal banished — Effects of the 
great earthquake at Lisbon — Curiosities — Visits Pombal — 
dines with the Marquis — goes to Gibraltar — visits Tangiers — 
lends his watch-chain with a miniature picture to the Governor 
— sails to Marseilles — returns to Paris — joins the Queen's 
cortege in her journey to Fontainbleau — returns to England — 
Admirals Keppell and Palliser — Lord Sandwich — Gives up his 
commission — Excursion — Anecdote — Pays his addresses to 
Miss Dawson — Extract from his journal — French duel — Mar- 
ried in Paris, 1781 — Birth of his eldest son, Gawin William 
Hamilton — Attends the Duchess of Manchester when presented 
to Marie Antoinette — Visit to the convent of Le Petit St. Cyr — 
dines with the minister Le Comte De Virgennes — Monsieur 
De Limons — Anecdote — [Additions.] 

About this time I received a letter from my old 
friend, Lord Charles Montague, saying that the 
Portuguese minister, the Marquis of Pombal, being- 
anxious to obtain English officers for the Portu- 
guese army, had offered him the command of a re- 
giment, with the appointment of the officers, and 
that he would appoint me his Lieutenant- Colonel 
if I was inclined to join them ; but in that case, I 
must lose no time in returning to England, as a 
war was expected between Portugal and Spain, and 
the regiment would most probably be sent imme- 
diately to South America. This destination was 



most agreeable to my wandering turn of mind, so 
that in the course of a very short time, Lord 
Charles, Mr. Blanket, a naval officer, and I, em- 
barked in the Lisbon packet, and arrived safe in 
the Tagus, in high spirits. On entering the river, 
we were informed that the late king had died, a 
complete revolution had taken place in the politics 
of Portugal, and that the Marquis of Pombal was 
sent into banishment. Our party wishing to live 
retired, we inquired for a French hotel in the town ; 
we found it so dirty, that we were obliged soon to 
remove to one kept by an Englishman close to the 
town, which was resorted to by the invalids who 
came to Lisbon for the benefit of the climate. The 
arrival of three persons who did not appear in 
search of health, nor of the mercantile order, caused 
some sensation, which was increased by our in- 
quiries, all tending to procure satisfactory informa- 
tion concerning the degraded minister. We found 
the chief outcry against the Marquis among the 
populace and mendicants, which was excited by the 
priesthood and populace, particularly the beggars. 
The priests hated Pombal, because he restrained 
their excessive power, and had seized and con- 
fiscated a large quantity of contraband goods, 
which the holy fathers had concealed in the con- 
vent of Maura. The nobles who joined this party 
were chiefly the connexion of those families who 
some years before had suffered for a plot to assas- 
sinate the king. During the whole time we re- 
mained in Portugal, the middle order of men, and 



those engaged in commercial or literary pursuits, 
when they spoke of the Marquis, always called 
him Le Grand Marquis. 

The town of Lisbon presented all the effects of 
the earthquake, which had rendered many streets 
impassable for carriages, and some scarcely passable 
for foot passengers. The government, after the 
earthquake, had erected some streets in an elegant 
style of architecture of stone, leaving to the pro- 
prietors of the lots to build up the rear, as their 
taste or purse should determine ; so that imme- 
diately behind a palace you might find a stable or 
a cobbler's stall. All public places of amusement 
had closed on the king's death, and the court had 
retired to a palace built on the banks of the Tagus. 
A very handsome statue of Pombal stood in the 
centre of a square. The greatest curiosities I ob- 
served were some large and beautiful portraits of 
saints in the church windows ; an elephant, the 
largest I had ever seen, but very tame ; and a 
stable containing sixteen zebras in beautiful order. 

Contrary to the advice of his friends Lord Charles 
determined on visiting the Marquis in his place of 
banishment, Pombal, a small village near Coimbra, 
and for that place we hired mules and guides at 
Lisbon. The country had a novel appearance, from 
the enclosure, made by the aloes, the stems of which 
were from ten to twenty feet high, and full of 
flowers. The beds of rivers, though now nearly 
dry, appeared as if. the currents were violent in 
winter. We had provided ourselves with some 




eatables at Lisbon, and we preferred eating them 
under a tree to applying at the dirty inns, where 
miserable gallinas and rice were the only food they 
had to offer us. At night mattrasses were taken 
out of a large chest, and spread on the floor for us 
to lie on, where insects of all sorts abounded. The 
first view we got of Coimbra, as we descended one 
of the hills which surrounded it, was magnificently 
striking ; it stood in a fertile valley, surrounded 
by well-wooded hills, through which a large river 
meandered. The college and other public buildings 
overtopping those of the town, had so much excited 
our ideas as to occasion a great disappointment, 
when on passing the bridge we entered a town, the 
streets of which were as contracted and dirty as any 
we had passed on the road — one sumptuous street, 
indeed, excepted, in which were most of the public 
offices. On the arches of the bridges were estab- 
lished flour-mills, driven by the current, and be- 
lon^ino; to the monks. 

When we arrived at Pombal, we found the Mar- 
quis had arrived only a few days before, and was 
lodged in a private house, having no residence 
there. Lord Charles immediately waited on him, 
and received an invitation for us all to dine with 
him the next day. On entering his room, he made 
a sort of playful apology for his fare and reception. 
He wore an old English bath surtout and slippers. 
He reminded me much of Dr. Franklin, both in 
his good-natured remarks and his suavity of man- 
ners. Our company consisted of himself, his pri- 



vate secretary, and two private friends. When 
we were collected at table, and about to sit down, a 
female of middle age, plainly dressed, came into 
the room, and without noticing any of us, she ad- 
vanced to the Marquis, dropped on her knees, re- 
ceived a short blessing, and was then introduced to 
his guests as his daughter. Dinner, with every- 
thing else, was in the French fashion. Lord Charles 
and Mr. Blankett had some private conference with 
the Marquis, and shortly after we took our leave. 
The next morning we departed for Lisbon, and ar- 
rived safe at an English hotel. 

Our party now separated : Lord Charles went 
to Madrid ; Mr. Blankett returned to England ; 
and I accepted the invitation of the officers of the 
ward -room on board a frigate, commanded by Cap- 
tain Murray, and going to Gibraltar, and from 
thence to Minorca. General Baugh was a visitor 
of the Captain's, with whom I had a slight ac- 
quaintance, which, moreover, rendered the-* tour 
more agreeable, as he took me with him to see all 
the fortifications of the rock of Gibraltar, and the 
mines and subterranean passages of Fort Phillippi, 
then in complete order. I visited Tangiers, which 
was only a few hours'' sail from Gibraltar, and joined 
a party who were going there to shoot. It happened 
to be market day ; and the market was held in a 
large field outside the town. The merchandise was 
lodged in small temporary booths in the central part 
of the field. It was brought on the backs of camels, 
which, when unloaded, were made to lie down, 
e 2 



and, to prevent them from straggling, the fetlock 
of one fore foot was fastened, by a small cord, a 
little above the knee of the same leg. The camels 
formed an outer circle. As I was never a great 
sportsman, I found more amusement in observing 
the manners of the crowd than in bagging partridge, 
until we assembled at the Consul's house at dinner. 
1 had then an opportunity of seeing the Moorish 
Governor of the place, who called on the Consul. 
He was a tall, handsome, elderly man ; his man- 
ners were affable ; but he spoke no language except 
his own, and in that his tone was affable and polite. 
His dress I should call Turkish, rich without pro- 
fusion. He called at the Consul's again after 
dinner, and took some coffee with us. In the 
centre part of my watch-chain I had a miniature 
picture set with diamonds, which attracted his 
attention. Having admired it some time, he de- 
sired the interpreter to ask leave to take it home 
that he might show it to his ladies. I immediately 
granted his request, and gave him watch-chain and 
all, which he promised to return before we sailed in 
the evening. My companions bantered me on the 
loss of the whole ; and late in the day, even the 
Consul, though he said the Governor was a most 
honourable man, began to fear some difficulty might 
occur in its restoration. But he kept his word 
most correctly, and it was restored with less damage 
than it would have met with amongst Europeans. 

After spending a few days at Port Mahon, I 
hired a small boat to take me to Marseilles. In 



this passage I experienced rougher weather and 
worse seas than in all mv former voyages ; indeed 
I believe I never had been in such danger before, 
for the vessel which brought me, as I found after- 
wards, came there to be broken up. At Marseilles I 
visited the Quai des Gallerions. The galley-slaves 
had little shops on the brink of the docks, fronting 
the galleys to which they belonged, and seemed to 
be as happy as any persons in custody could be. I 
was now diverted from some other intended excur- 
sions, by the arrival of an officer who had travelled 
from the East Indies, by what they call the over- 
land passage by the Red Sea to Suez, and was in 
great haste to reach London. He prevailed on mo 
to join trim in the purchase of a berlin, and accom- > 
pany him as far as Paris. In arranging our effects 
in the carriage at Marseilles, I perceived that my 
companion put several large bundles of papers in 
the trunk which was to 2:0 on the front of the 
carriage. I advised him to put them in the va die ; 
but he would not ; so I let him have his own way, 
which I suspect was not without design ; for it ap- 
peared he had been recalled to make up the accounts 
for some post he held under the East India Com- 
pany, and by the time he got to the India House, 
all the vouchers, &c. had been so much torn and 
rubbed in the trunk, as to be perfectly illegible. 

I passed nearly a year at Paris. Being always 
fond of boating, I had brought to Paris a small 
Thames-wherry, which I bought from Roberts 
of Lambeth, from whom the Westminster boys 



hired their boats. I fancied that I possessed supe- 
rior dexterity in its management, and this led me 
to accompany the cortege that attended the Queen 
when she went by water to the palace of Fontain- 
bleau. My boat was indeed taken notice of, for I 
saw the Queen speaking to the Duke of Lauzun, 
and pointing it out ; but alas ! when I asked him 
what she had said, he told me the only remark she 
made was : " Que cela pent etre amusement pour un. 
Seigneur Anglois /" 

War being declared on the continent, I returned 
to England, and joined my regiment at South Sea 
Common, where it was encamped. I frequently 
accompanied the Duke of Manchester in his visits 
to his friend Admiral Keppel, while the fleet re- 
mained at Portsmouth. His appointment to the 
command of our fleet was extremely popular ; but 
the ministry incurred much odium by having ap- 
pointed Admiral Palliser to be second in command. 
He was indeed a brave sailor, but known to be at- 
tached to the court party, and a private friend of 
Lord Sandwich's. It was supposed (and as it 
afterwards appeared, not without reason) that he 
was sent out rather as a spy to find some fault in 
the conduct of Keppel, than to assist his efforts. 
This disunion appeared in the course of KeppeFs 
being at Portsmouth fitting out for sea. During 
this time Lord Sandwich came to Portsmouth, and 
sent a note to the Admiral, informing him of his 
arrival and wish to see him. I was then with the 
Duke on board the Victory, and Keppel immedi- 



atelv gave the following answer, before all present : 
" That the Victory being under sailing orders at 
that time, he could not leave her, but would be 
happy to receive his Lordship, and had ordered 
his barge to attend him." His Lordship arrived 
shortly after in the Admiral's barge, and we took 
our leave. 

I had the curiosity to visit the ward of those 
wounded in the action which ensued a few days* 
after, and I acknowledge I did not feel the same 
regret that I had experienced on the Admiral's de- 
clining the request the Duke of Manchester had 
made him, to receive me as a volunteer. On the 
camp breaking up at South Sea Common, the Duke 
of Manchester appointed me to a company ; but as 
I had no property in the county, I resigned my 
commission, and returned to my mother's house in 
London, in Great Marlborough -street. Soon after 
this, having gone on an excursion to the north of 
England, the following incident occurred to me 
at Penrith. My purse being exhausted, I told the 
inkeeper my situation, and asked him whether he 
would give me cash for my bill on my banker 
in London. L'pon his consenting, as I thought, 
I ordered a late dinner, drank a bottle of claret, 
&c. and slept soundly. Next morning, I drew 7 
on Messrs. Child and Co. my bankers, for £20, 
gave it to the waiter, desiring him to pay my 
bill, and order a chaise. The master of the inn 
came up and said, that " when he spoke of a bill on 
London, he thought it was an accepted hill, but that 



he could not think of taking that of a stranger. It 
was in vain to argue with him ; so I asked him 
was there any gentleman living in the town, to 
whom I might apply ; and he mentioned a cap- 
tain, whose name I have forgotten, who kept a pack 
of hounds, &c. From a sportsman and a military 
man I thought I could not fail in my request : I 
wrote a note to him, and enclosed a letter of my 
mother's, at the same time requesting he would 
induce the inn-keeper to cash my draft for £20 ; 
hut I counted without my host. The answer was, 
that he did not doubt that the landlord would 
behave properly to any gentleman who came to 
his house. The only article of value I had about 
me was a diamond brooch, which I gave the waiter 
to secure his master, and only requested from 
him enough of money to pay the posting as far as 
Newark, where I was known and could get cash. 
He brought me back the brooch, saying his master 
was no judge of diamonds. It then occurred to me 
that I might receive assistance from my old friend 
Captain Williamson, son of Sir Hedworth Wil- 
liamson, of Durham, from which place we could not 
be far distant. I made another application to Mr. 
Riccards, and requested that he would send his 
chaise so far with me ; but his answer was, that 
his horses never went further than one stage. In 
some little time Riccards himself came into the 
room ; I thought he had relented ; but it was to 
say, that he had a share in a stage-coach which 
was to be at Penrith the next day, and as I said I 


was known at Newark, I might go so far in it, and 
lie did not care whether he was ever paid or not. 
I rose from my chair with a degree of rapidity 
which he did not seem to like, for he speedily ran 
down the stairs and I after him ; he turned short 
into his kitchen, and I into the street. I now in- 
quired for another inn, and was told there was one 
kept by a Scotchwoman and her son. Little as I 
hoped for assistance under such auspices, I deter- 
mined to try. I told my story, and requested a 
chaise to Sir H. Williamson's. It was immediately 
granted ; and while the horses were harnessing, I 
went to Riccards, paid my bill out of my remaining 
loose cash, and was in a short time on the road to 
Brough, which was the first stage to Durham as 
well as on the London road. 

I was walking (alongside my postillion, who was 
a Scottish lad,) up a long hill, when a horseman 
passed us in a gallop. The boy observed that they 
were much afraid of me at that inn, and he re- 
minded me, that in the hurry of making out my 
bill in the morning Riccards had forgotten to charge 
the Brough chaise and drivers, which as I did not 
intend going any farther, I had desired to be paid 
at the bar. He said he was charged with a letter 
to the waiter of the inn at Brough, to the same 
purport, and lest he should not deliver it, the per- 
son who rode by was Riccards 1 hostler; "but,'" 
added he, in a broad Scottish accent, pulling out a 
small leathern purse, " there is more than will pay 
them, and you shall not be stopped." My heart 
e 3 



smote me for the national injury which I had been 
guilty of ; I told him I would request permission 
from the Brough innkeeper to send the sum back 
by him, and if he refused I would apply to him to 
pay it for me. I was disappointed by the host im- 
mediately consenting ; but I had the satisfaction of 
declaring my gratitude to the boy for his generous 
conduct, so different from that of Eiccards. When 
I arrived at Durham, I had to send a note to my 
friend Captain Williamson (as he resided some 
miles out of town), telling him briefly the cause of 
my journey to the north, and my present embar- 
rassment, and requesting the loan of £20. I de- 
sired, in case my friend should not be at home, that 
my letter might be opened by any of the family. 
Sir Hedgworth opened it, and enclosed a bank-note 
of £25, with a polite note, saying his son was from 
home, or he would have been the bearer of it. I 
now acquitted all my engagements, and not forget- 
ting my generous young Scotchman, set out for 

When I mentioned my mother's family at Pinnel, 
I alluded to a young Irish lady, then a visitor with 
her. I should explain how Miss Dawson had be- 
come almost an inmate in her family. My mother 
had the strongest friendship for her father, Walter 
Dawson, Esq. of Lisanisk, near Carrickmacross. 
This gentleman had determined to give a London 
education to Sarah Anne, his only daughter, who 
was possessed of great personal beauty and innate 
elegance of manner, and at the age of thirteen he 



brought her over from Ireland, and placed her at 
one of the most celebrated schools. During the 
vacations she resided with my mother, -who thus 
became extremely attached to her ; and when at 
the age of sixteen she left school, and had not yet 
returned to her parents, my sister's absence made 
her affection and society more than ever necessary 
to my mother. 

[With this young lady Mr. Rowan became 
deeply enamoured. Future events demonstrated 
how judiciously he acted in making her the object 
of his choice as a partner for life ; and proved, as 
the sequel will discover, that if one error, or one 
false step, leads to a thousand, so may one prudent 
act be the means of retrieving a thousand errors. 
Some family affair requiring Mr. Rowan's presence 
in Paris, while there he kept a regular journal of 
all his proceedings for her perusal. As this journal 
lias been preserved, a few extracts from it may 
prove not unacceptable to the reader. — Ed.] 

" My Dear Dawson, 

** I have set aside this quire 
of paper to amuse myself in giving you a little journal of 
events, as they happen in Paris : if it amuses you upon 
reading, it is more than I expect ; and yet I expect more> 
that you will take it as a mark of my recollection of the 
little Dawson. * * * Let me describe my lodgings : — 
The first floor you may suppose : an antichamber, a 
saloon hung with crimson damask, chairs and sofa the 
same, a gold border, a large marble slab upon a gold 



frame, under a handsome pier glass between the windows j 
another over the chimney, so well placed, I wish my 
Dawson were here to look at herself; hut take care, as you 
strut about the room to have a view of the whole shape, 
that you don't fall over the dirty old deal table that stands 
in the middle of the room ; a bed-chamber hung with 
blue flock-paper and gold border, blue velvet chairs, a blue 
damask tester, and two strips of ditto hanging down by 
the side of the bed, to cover some serge curtains. * * * 
I wanted a sword, a very handsome one presented itself, 
£20, I ordered it ; f it will last for ever,' said I. When 
I came home I recollected that perhaps my friend might 
want £20 for her ornaments more than I. I wrote to 
the man, to tell him not to fit it up for me, for I might 
be forced to leave Paris in twenty -four hours. Just re- 
ceived his answer ; he will bring it complete to-morrow 
morning. I am determined not to take it ; but to-morrow 
will decide. My dear friend, if you are as liable to ex- 
pence, and have no more resolution than your friend 
Hamilton, Lord have mercy upon us miserable debtors ! 
* * * Mrs. F. is here ruining the peace of a very 
worthy family by her intrigues ; her husband has been 
very unfortunate, as well as undeserving ; he married for 
love, and took into his house, and shared his purse with a 
man who was deserted by his family, and whose grateful 
return for those favours was that of raising a resentment 
in the wife against her husband, which led her into those 
errors which have destroyed her for ever. Every crime 
which makes our company avoided by those of our own 
rank, throws one necessarily into the actions and senti- 
ments of those who are inferior to us ; so men who have 
lost their honour, or to speak more explicitly, have dis- 
graced themselves by some one action of infamy, seldom 
stop at that, but are ready for any other ; and so the 



woman who has forfeited her chastity seldom stops at 
that single crime. There are exceptions to both these 
affirmations, hut too rare to he mentioned. * * * 
Tuesday — I was here broken in upon by a message from 
F. that he would never forgive me if I did not sup with 
him. I had already received an invitation from the wife, 
which I had declined, and had undressed myself, and was 
writing at my ease to my little stranger (you know I 
always insist that we are not acquainted), when the mes- 
sage came, and I obeyed it. You may imagine that the 
lady had a right to be piqued ; but I despise her, for she 
never had a sentiment in her life : sentiments are dangerous 
things to be fraught with ; ipv excess of sensibility and 
extreme want of feeling are like the two extremes of heat 
and cold, equally destructive. Shenstone's description of 
Jessy, ' sustained by virtue, but betrayed by love,' I can 
conceive and pity. Many others there are besides prudes 
who can feel neither the one nor the other. * * * I ex- 
pect to be well with the Due de Chartres ; he is in the 
Swiss guards. Apropos : there was a dreadful duel, a 
day or so since, between one of their colonels and a cap- 
tain ; they fought upon some trifling affair ; the colonel 
fell down, and the captain stood over him with his sword 
at his throat, and asked the colonel : ' If I were in your 
place, what would you do to me ?' ' I would kill you 
dead,' said the colonel. ' I have more generosity than 
you,' replied the captain : ' I give you your life.' The 
aflair was thus made up ; but there were constant dis- 
agreements : and in this country, when two officers of one 
regiment are constantly breaking hito the happiness of 
the corps by their private quarrels, it is ordered by the 
corps, that either one dies in a duel, or leaves the regi- 
ment. So it happened here. But as the giving them 
each a loaded pistol, might mangle both without killing 



either, they fall upon the following method : A pair of 
pistols is brought ; one loaded, the other left uncharged ; 
both put under a napkin; the two gentlemen who are 
to fight are then called in, and any stranger who hap- 
pens to be passing, generally a child, is brought up, 
who gives a pistol to each ; neither can know who has 
the loaded pistol ; the muzzles are put to one another's 
breast — the triggers drawn. The unfortunate captain was 
killed by his colonel. Now I shall hereafter examine 
you upon which you think the most to blame, and give 
you my reasons for the determination I have made ; but 
lest I should seem to wish to lay a snare for you, I think 
the colonel behaved nobly,* and the captain was to blame. 
* * * You can have no conception of the excess in 
which I am jealous of my friends, and at the same time 
the unreasonable passion I get into if my friends show the 
slightest suspicion of me." 

" September 6, 1781. — I begin another quire for my 
friend, and I own it vexes me to write thus constantly to 
you, without hope of any return ; but believe me, I will 
make you pay for it all hereafter. I am sure, my dear, 
I am very different from the common race of lovers ; I 
threaten much before hand, but I have so much ingenu- 
ousness in my nature, that I shall never let a moment's 
quiet be in the house upon my return, till my Dawson 
has shown how little she fears me, by putting herself 
in my power. I have been to look at a watch with a 
chain for you ; I found it too big, and have ordered one 
of a lesser size. * * * I mean to go to the French 
theatre. There are the fashionable nights, and those 
which are otherwise : this is a bad night, but I like it 
better than the sing-song of the opera-house : you must 

* Wherefore he thinks so, the editor is unahle to discover. 



know I don't like singing, or after all that my mother has 
said, I should have asked you for a song. I like to hear 
singing when it proceeds from absolute gaiety unre- 
strained ; but to sing, ' how pleasing 'tis to please/ 
with a frown, and a wish, perhaps, to be elsewhere, I do 
not love." 

[The journal abounds in little incidents, and in 
expressions of tender endearment and affection, in 
a loose, gay, and epistolary style ; but as such love 
effusions are seldom interesting to any but the 
parties concerned, we return to the more sober nar- 

At my mother's earnest entreaty Miss Dawson 
consented to accompany her to France. I saw in 
her so much good sense and propriety in many dif- 
ferent and embarrassing situations, that I deter- 
mined on offering her my hand, and wrote to her 
father in Ireland for his permission, to which he 
consented, and in 1781 we were married by the 
Dutch ambassador's chaplain in Paris, and for the 
purpose of registry, we set out immediately for 
London, -where we were married a second time in 
St. James's parish church, from my mother's house 
in Great Marlborouo-h-street. We returned to 


Paris, and resided with my mother in a house 
which she had hired from Lord Southwell, who had 
married into the Choiseul family, and was settled 
in a small house adjoining their garden, called Le 
Petit Hotel de Choiseul, in the Eue de Mousseau. 
Here my eldest son, Gawin William, was born. 



By the French laws it was necessary that he should 
be taken to the parish church to be christened ; it 
was that of St. Philippe de Roule. I wished him 
to be called by my father's name, which was Grawin ; 
but Gaivin was not to be found in the saints' calen- 
dar of that parish, and therefore the ceremony 
could not be performed ; but by adding the better 
attested one of (my grandfather Rowan) William, 
I got the two names given to him. 

On my return to Paris, the Duke of Manchester, 
my old militia colonel, being then English ambas- 
sador there, did me the honour of appointing me 
to attend the Duchess on her first presentation to 
the unfortunate Queen, Marie Antoinette, then in 
high glory. 

My mother's affairs obliging her to return to 
England, we remained about a year in the same 
house. My sister being placed as a boarder in the 
convent Le Petit St. Cyr, at Versailles, my wife 
and I visited her there several times, and had been 
constantly received in the common parlour ; but 
one day on being announced at the gates, we were 
surprised at their being thrown open, and our being 
ushered with great ceremony to the quarters of the 
lady abbess, by whom we were invited to dinner. 
During the dessert the lady abbess said to me : 
44 We know that the ecclesiastics in your country 
are permitted to marry." > It then appeared that 
having had occasion, in the mean time, to pay my 
sister's pension, I had signed my order on the 
banker, " Archd. Hamilton Rowan," and the 



Christian name of Archibald being as little known 
to the abbess as a saint, as Gawin was to the 
curate who baptized ruy son, she had supposed me 
to be an archbishop, and received me with every 
mark of liberal feeling, and with a degree of civility 
(due to my supposed character) ; a civility, I fancy, 
well worthy of imitation elsewhere. 

During my visits to Versailles, I was one day 
invited to dine with the minister, the Comte de Vir- 
gennes. All the domestics of a Milord affected an 
English dress, and particularly by wearing their 
> hair tied in a club instead of a bag. It was, how- 
ever, an etiquette that all persons who were invited 
to the minister's table should be waited on by their 
own servants, who must also wear bags. My 
servant not having one, borrowed the coachman's 
to attend at dinner. When the party broke up, 
my carriage was called for, but in vain ; and I was 
forced to go to the court-yard to get into it, for 
it was equally inconsistent with the dignity of the 
coachman to drive up to the entrance without a 
bag, as it was for the other to attend at table with- 
out one. 

[Mr. Eowan resided in France about two years 
after his marriage, in the full enjoyment of as much 
happiness as falls to the lot of the most favoured 
of mortals. During this time few incidents in his 
history occur worthy of notice. In May, 1783, he 
had occasion to visit Angers, from which place he 
writes to Mrs. Eowan, and gives the following 
anecdote : — ] 



" Last night we arrived at his (Monsieur De Limon's) 
brother's, Du Plessis, who is lodged in the Hotel de 
Ville : good old rooms, and winding staircase ; nothing 
elegant, and nothing mean ; a man of about thirty, with- 
out pretensions, very hospitable ; his father shewed me 
the public hall just now; he was formerly mayor, and 
M. De L. during his mayoralty, sent down the picture 
of Monsieur, as a present to the town from Monsieur, 
which is exactly the same as that in his own room. The 
old man made me observe that above the picture were 
the arms of Monsieur, on one side the arms of the city, 
on the other his ; ' that is,' said he, f I never had any 
arms before ; it was necessary to have some. I was in- 
tendant of the marine ; so I took a tree and two anchors, 
as you see.' I then inquired why, amidst a great number 
of arms and names which were painted up against the 
pannels, of the old mayors and sheriffs of the town, there 
were several which had been erased. He said, that f they 
were the names of persons who now passed for nobility, 
and were ashamed of what they had sprung from, and had 
got them erased.' And this may hereafter be the case 
in some hundreds of years with the name as well as the 
anchors and tree of the good old man who was then 

[The Marquis de Pombal, mentioned in the me- 
moir, was a statesman of distinguished eminence, 
born at Soura, in the territory of Coimbra, in 1699, 
and appointed ambassador from the court of Por- 
tugal to London, 1739. In 1750 he became secre- 
tary of state for foreign affairs. " His first care 
was to improve the commercial resources of the 



kingdom, and encourage a spirit of industry among 
the people ; but he also seems to have systemati- 
cally endeavoured to depress the nobility, and he 
displayed a marked enmity to the influential order 
of the J esuits, w hence arose a spirit of opposition 
to his measures which led to many public disasters. 
On the occasion of the dreadful earthquake at Lis- 
bon in 1755, he displayed the most active benevo- 
lence towards the distressed citizens. His services 
procured him deserved respect, and the king re- 
warded him with the title of Count d'Oeyras. In 
the following year he was made prime minister of 
the country, and he now assumed a most unlimited 
power in every department of the state. Many of 
his measures were arbitrary and severe : but the 
licentiousness of the age, and the character of the 
people, served to excuse if not to justify his pro- 
ceedings. The attempt to assassinate the king, for 
wdiich the Duke of Aveiro and others of the nobi- 
lity suffered in 1 758, was ascribed by the minister 
to the instigations of the Jesuits, and it afforded 
him a pretext for the banishment of those fathers 
from Portugal. He persevered in the system which 
he adopted, notwithstanding he was continually 
adding to the number of his enemies, till at length, 
in 1777, he was disgraced, ancL ordered to retire to 
his estates ; and he died at Pombal, the place of 
his exile, May 8, 1782." — Gorton's Biographical 

The action to which the memoir alludes, page 79, 
took place between the British fleet, under Admiral 



Keppel, and the French fleet, under Comte d'Orvil- 
liers, on the 27th of July, 1 778. The Admiral's ship, 
the Victory, was first in the conflict ; and though it 
does not appear that she sustained a great loss of 
men, she suffered severely in her rigging, and the 
shattered condition in which she returned to port, 
must have excited very different feelings from those 
which animated her crew when she went forth in 
the pride of anticipated triumph. Mr. Rowan, on 
seeing the ward of the wounded, had, no douht, 
good reason to cease his regret at not having been 
admitted as a volunteer, though it is equally doubt- 
less that he would have covered himself with all 
the glory that could have been won in that capa- 
city. Owing to the want of a proper system of 
signals, the manoeuvres of the British fleet were not 
so well conducted as on subsequent occasions, nor 
was the result of the engagement such as the officers 
and men of the British navy are accustomed to ex- 
pect. An unhappy jealousy or misunderstanding 
subsisted between the Admirals Keppel and Pal- 
liser ; accusations w^ere the consequence, and finally 
a court martial, by which Admiral Keppel was 
honourably acquitted. 

Mr. Rowan, during his residence in France, 
having gone on a shooting excursion, met with 
many French and English strangers at a country 
house or chateau, and among them one with whom 
he had high words, which led to a conflict that 
might have been attended with fatal consequences. 
They had dressed for dinner, wearing swords, as 



was the fashion, and met in the saloon where the 
dispute originated — probably, as usual, about some 
trifle — the " dissension of a doit" — " some trick not 
worth an egg." Ladies being present, Rowan 

" Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel," 

went out with the French gentleman on a balcony 
platform, where both drew, and instantly proceeded 
to decide their controversy by the sword. Rowan's 
powerful arm, with his superior skill in fencing, 
gave him a manifest advantage. His antagonist 
grew warm, and at every thrust or parry, cried 
out, " Sacre /" with another very offensive epithet, 
which so enraged Rowan that he closed with him, 
and a VAnglois, gave him a terrible blow of his 
fist, which nearly knocked him clown. In the 
scuffle the Frenchman lost his sword, then took to 
flight, and actually got on the parapet, which was 
barely two feet wide, and twenty above the ground. 
Rowan pursued him on the same dangerous emi- 
nence, like Achilles after Hector, but not with the 
same deadly animosity ; for though he might have 
taken summary vengeance, he contented himself 
with giving him a few strokes with the blade of 
his sword on the head and shoulders, but doing 
him no serious injury. The spectators were in 
terror lest one or both should fall from the narrow 
parapet, till at last the terrified Frenchman dropped 
down, and probably thought himself fortunate in 
escaping, though at the expence of a fractured 
limb. — Ed.] 




Comes to Ireland — purchases Rathcoffey — Story of Mary Neal — 
Takes an active part in the prosecution of her eneniie^ — pub- 
lishes a pamphlet in her behalf — Lord Carhampton — Doctor 
Boyton — Petition to the Lord Lieutenant — Letter to the Right 
Hon. Alleyne Fitzwilliam — Anecdote by Sir Jonah Barrington — 
Lines on the Castle gate — Trial of Sheriff Yance — Mr. Rowan 
assists in conducting the prosecution — Bull-baiting — Vance ac- 
quitted — Rowan's opinions on the subject — Eulogy on the 
judge, the Honourable Richard Power. 

When the time for which my mother had taken 
her house in the Rue de Mousseau expired, I took 
one at Epinay, near St. Denis, where we remained 
about a year ; and in 1784, in compliance with my 
mother's request, came to reside in Ireland. She 
gave up to me a small property in the county of 
Kildare, which she inherited from her father, and 
we took a cottage near Naas, where we resided 
when not with my mother in Dublin. 

After a short time, however, as my wife and I 
became attached to many valuable friends in the 
county of Kildare, and besides liked the country, 
I purchased Rathcoffey, the cottage having become 
too small for our increasing family. We neverthe- 
less spent a great deal of our time with my mother 
in Dublin. And there a transaction occurred, in 



which I took a prominent and decided part, in 
support of a young girl the daughter of a hair- 
dresser. This case, which first brought my name 
before the public, was as follows : — Mary Neal, aged 
about fourteen years, under the pretence of being 
sent on a message, was decoyed into a house of 
ill fame, where she had been violated, and then 
turned out into the street. The house was kept by 
Mrs. Llewellyn, the foster-sister of a gentleman 
then in favour at the castle. Against her, as mis- 
tress of the house, the father of the girl lodged 
examinations, and procured a warrant, while his 
daughter was taken to the hospital of the House of 
Industry, on account of the personal injury she had 
received. When the sessions were coming on, in 
order to prevent the prosecution of Llewellyn, a per- 
son named Edgeworth, a friend of Mrs. Llewellyn, 
induced a girl who frequented the house, to swear 
that Neal, his wife, and daughter had stopped her on 
the road and robbed her, and she thus got warrants 
against them. She had interest enough with the 
jailor to procure a constable, who in the middle of 
the night took Neal and his wife to Newgate, where 
they were shut up in separate cells. The woman 
was far gone with child, and in the morning, on 
opening the cell, she and an infant of whom she had 
been delivered were found dead ; some say from ill 
usage received from Llewellyn when she was taken 
to prison ; but the coroner's inquest declared that 
their death was occasioned by a want of medical 
assistance. The trial of the girl's father for the 



alleged robbery came on, but no prosecutors ap- 
peared. The girl had remained in the hospital, 
where by the firmness of Mr. Hunt, the surgeon of 
the establishment, she was protected from the ex- 
aminations and interrogatories of some persons of 
high rank, which did them no credit, in order to 
intimidate her and make her acknowledge that she 
was one of those depraved young creatures who in- 
fest the streets, and thus to defend Llewellyn on 
her trial. When it came on, however, she was 
convicted and received sentence of death. Shortly 
after this, having discovered that Anne Molyneux, 
the person who had been procured to lodge exami- 
nations in another name against the family for the 
robbery, was a frequenter of Llewellyn's house, 
with the prompt assistance of Dr. Boyton and Al- 
derman , I had Edgeworth taken up, prose- 
cuted, convicted of subornation of perjury, and sen- 
tenced to stand three times in the pillory and to 
be imprisoned one year. Both of these culprits were 
shortly after pardoned and liberated by Lord West- 

[An affair of this nature was well adapted to 
produce excitement in the public mind ; and the 
more so as a person " in favour at the castle," Lord 
Carhampton, lay under strong suspicion of being a 
principal concerned, and of using his influence to 
frustrate the demands of justice. Several pamphlets 
were written on the occasion, professing to give a 
true statement of the facts. One of these was en- 



titled, " A Brief Investigation of the Sufferings of 
John, Anne, and Mary Neal, by A. H. Rowan 
another by a writer under a feigned appellation, 
entitled, " The cries of Blood and injured Inno- 
cence, or the Protection of Vice and Persecution of 
Virtue, exemplified in the Sufferings of Mary Neal 
and her unfortunate family, &c. 5 ' It was addressed 
to his Excellency the Marquis of B , and con- 
tained in the title-page the following lines to the 
of C 

" If in thy breast which vice so deeply stains, 
One lingering thought not tainted quite remains t 
If years of guilt have not of shame bereft, 
And one faint blush for all thy crimes is left, 
The lash of honest scorn, unmoved by fear, 
Shall rouse that shame, and bid that blush appear !" 

In this pamphlet Rowan is eulogized as " the zealous 
defender of insulted humanity, the generous pro- 
tector of injured, insulted innocence. 11 Soon after 
appeared, " An Authentic Narrative, being an In- 
vestigation of the Trial and Proceedings in the 
Case of Neal and Llewellyn, containing a variety 
of proofs and circumstances never before made pub- 
lic." This " Authentic Narrative 11 endeavours to 
invalidate the evidence of Mary Neal, and to justify 
the conduct of Lord Carhampton, by shewing that 
it was by mere accident he was led to take any 
part in the proceedings. It quoted Dr. Boyton as 
authority for some of its statements, and the Doctor 
replied in a pamphlet entitled, " Plain Truth, or a 
Candid Detail of the Proceedings in the business 




of Neal and Llewellyn, in answer to the misrepre- 
sentations of a recent publication, called an * Au- 
thentic Narrative, &C. 1 " In this he " assures the 
public, that the evidence given by Mary Neal on 
the trial of Llewellyn was not, as is asserted, either 
contradictory or inconsistent, but such as perfectly 
to satisfy twelve honest men on their oaths, and to 
leave no doubt of her innocence on the mind of an 
upright judge/ 1 

Mr.' Eowan having heard that a pardon was 
solicited and about to be obtained for Llewellyn, 
founded on the destruction of Mary NeaFs cha- 
racter, he resolved to defend it as far as possible 
against this injury. Accordingly he took her to 
the castle on Saturday, November 29th, when she 
presented a petition to the Lord Lieutenant, pray- 
ing that, as she understood the claim to mercy to 
Llewellyn was founded on the principle of her 
(Neal) being soiled with guilt which her soul ab- 
horred, such a communication of the evidence might 
be made, as she may defend herself against ; or in 
the extension of mercy to Llewellyn, to save her 
(NeaFs) infant virtue by a declaration of her inno- 
cence." With this petition his Excellency did not 
think proper to comply. In a letter to the Right 
Hon. Alleyne Fitzwilliam, Rowan disclaims having 
any enmity to the unfortunate culprit ; . " but," 
says he, " as long as the guilt of the child is made 
the basis of royaPclemency, I will combat it with 
all the force of truth which I can collect. I am 
neither impertinent nor ignorant enough — some 



might add, cruel enough — to attempt to avert 
mercy ; but as long as I have breath, 1 will protect 
her whom I believe innocent, and who has no other 

In connexion with this part of Rowan's history, 
Sir Jonah Barrington, in his " Personal Sketches" 
gives a strikingly characteristic anecdote, adorned, 
however, with the well-known hyperbolical exagge- 
rations of that amusing author's style. The reader, 
therefore, will make due allowance for these, and 
not impute the rudeness of a bully to a gentleman 
like Mr. Rowan, distinguished as he was by the 
singular courtesy and urbanity of his manners. 

" There are few," says Sir Jonah, " who will not give 
him full credit for every quality which does honour to 
' the private character of a gentleman.' As a philanthro- 
pist he certainly carried his ideas even beyond reason, and 
to a degree of excess which I really think laid in his 
mind the foundation of all his enthusiastic proceedings, 
both in common life and in politics. 

" The first interview I had with this gentleman did 
not occupy more than a few minutes ; but it was of a 
most impressive nature, and though now eight and thirty 
years back, appears as fresh to my eye as if it took place 
yesterday : in truth, I believe it must be equally present 
to every individual of the company who survives, and is 
not tco old to remember any thing." 

After a brief notice of the story of Mary Neal, 
and Rowan's Quixotic exertions in her behalf, Bar- 
rington proceeds to state that 
f 2 



" There were not wanting persons who doubted her 
truth, decried her former character, and represented her 
story as that of an impostor. This not only hurt the 
feelings and the philanthropy, but the pride of Hamilton 
Rowan ; and he vowed personal vengeance against all her 
calumniators high and low. At this time about twenty 
young barristers, including myself, had formed a dinner- 
club in Dublin ; we had taken large apartments for the 
purpose ; and as we were not yet troubled with too muck 
business, we were in the habit of faring luxuriously every 
day, and taking a bottle of the best claret which could be 
obtained. There never existed a more cheerful, nor half 
so cheap a dinner-club. One day, whilst dining with our 
usual hilarity, the servant informed us that a gentleman 
below stairs desired to be admitted for a moment. We 
considered it to be some brother barrister who requested 
permission to join our party, and desired him to be shown 
up. What was our surprise, however, on perceiving the 
figure that presented itself ! A man who might serve as 
model for a Hercules ; his gigantic limbs conveying the 
idea of almost supernatural strength ; his shoulders, arms, 
and broad chest were the very emblems of muscular en- 
ergy ; and his flat, rough countenance, overshadowed by 
enormous dark eyebrows, and deeply furrowed by strong 
lines of vigour and fortitude, completed one of the finest, 
yet most formidable figures I had ever beheld. He was 
very well dressed. Close by his side stalked in a New- 
foundland dog of corresponding magnitude, with hair a 
foot long, and who, if he should be voraciously inclined, 
seemed well able to devour a barrister or two without 
overcharging his stomach : as he entered, indeed, he 
alternately looked at us and then up at his master, as if 
only awaiting the orders of the latter to commence the 


onslaught. His master held in his hand a large, yellow, 
knotted clubby, slung by a leathern thong round his great 
wrist ; he had also a long small-sword by his side. This 
apparition walked deliberately up to the table, and having 
made his obeisance with seeming courtesy — a short pause 
ensued, during which he looked round on all the company 
with an aspect if not stern, yet ill calculated to set our 
minds at ease either as to his or his dog's ulterior inten- 
tions. 'Gentlemen!' at length he said, in a tone and 
with an air at once so mild and courteous, nay so polished, 
as fairly to give the lie, as it were, to his gigantic and 
threatening figure ; ' Gentlemen ! I have heard with very 
great regret that some members of this club have been so 
indiscreet as to calumniate the character of Mary Neal, 
which, from the part I have taken, I feel identified with 
my own. If any one present hath done so, I doubt not 
iae will now have the candour and courage to avow k. 
Who avows it ?' The dog looked up at him again ; he 
returned the glance ; but contented himself for the pre- 
sent with patting the animal's head, and was silent ; so 
were we. 

" The extreme surprise, indeed, with which our party 
was seized, bordering almost on consternation, rendered 
all consultation as to a reply out of the question ; and 
never did I see the old axiom, that ' what is every body's 
business is nobody's business,' more thoroughly exempli- 
fied. A few of the company whispered each his neigh- 
bour, and I perceived one or two steal a fruit-knife under 
the table-cloth, in case of extremities ; but no one made 
reply. We were eighteen in number; and as neither 
would or could answer for the others, it would require 
eighteen replies to satisfy the giant's single query, and I 
fancy some of us could not have replied to his satisfaction, 
and stuck to the truth into the bargain. 



" He repeated his demand (elevating his tone eacli 
time) thrice : ' Does any gentleman avow it ?' A faint 
buzz now circulated round the room, but there was no 
answer whatsoever. Communication was cut off, and 
there was a dead silence. At length our visitor said, with 
a loud voice, that he must suppose, if any gentleman had! 
made any observations or assertions against Mary Neal's 
character, he would have had the courage and spirit to 
avow it : * therefore/ continued he, • I shall take it for 
granted that my information was erroneous ; and in that 
point of view I regret having alarmed your society.' And 
without another word he bowed three times very low and 
retired backward toward the door (his dog also backing 
out with equal politeness), where with a salaam doubly 
ceremonious Mr. Rowan ended this extraordinary inter- 
view. On the first of his departing bows, by a simulta- 
neous impulse we all rose and returned his salute, almost 
touching the table with our noses, but still in profound 
silence ; which booing on both sides was repeated, as I 
have said, till he was fairly out of the room. Three or 
lour of the company then ran hastily to the window to be 
sure that he and the dog were clear off into the street ; 
and no sooner had this satisfactory denouement been 
ascertained, than a general roar of laughter ensued, and 
we talked it over in a hundred different ways ; the whole 
of our arguments, however, turned upon the question 
* which had behaved the politest upon the occasion ;' but 
not one word was uttered as to * which had behaved the 

The following passage occurs in one of Mr. 
Rowan's letters to Mrs. Rowan at tfris period : — 
" A Mr. Simcocks, a great paragraphist and essay 



writer during Lord Townsend's administration, 
dined here the day after I came to town, and from 
him I got the following, which I think is neat : 


1 Since justice is now but a pageant of state, 
Remove me, I pray you, from this castle gate. 
Since the rape of an infant, and blackest of crimes, 
Are objects of mercy in these blessed times, 
On the front of new prison, or hell let me dwell in, 
For a pardon is granted to Madam Llewellyn.' " 

Mr. Rowan had now become a popular character, 
and was regarded as the friend and advocate of the 
people. His courage, his philanthropy, and his 
generous, disinterested zeal in defence of injured 
innocence, were topics of universal praise and ad- 
miration.* After the affair of Mary Neal a new 
occasion presented itself for evincing what interest 
he took in protecting the rights of the people, and 
his hostility to every act which he considered arbi- 
trary or oppressive. 

On the 27th of December, 1789, being Saint 
Stephen's day, a day devoted by the lower classes 
to relaxation and amusement, some of the trades- 
men had purchased a bull, and brought him into a 
field, in the vicinity of the city, which was enclosed 

* Mary Xeal was received as a domestic in the house of Mrs. 
Rowan, most kindly treated, and at last apprenticed to a dress- 
maker ; but her subsequent character and conduct were not such 
as could requite the care of her benefactors, or justify the interest 
she had excited in the public mind. 



with a very high stone wall, and a gate which wa£ 
kept shut. Some humane persons, who considered 
hull-baiting as a cruel amusement, went to the 
sheriff, and required him to call out a military 
guard to put a stop to the proceeding. Vance, the 
sheriff, complied. His interference produced a riot : 
oyster-shells and pebbles were thrown by the mob ; 
the soldiers retaliated by firing on the people : 
many were wounded ; four were killed. One of 
the latter was Ferral Reddy, for whose murder the 
sheriff Vance was arraigned. The friends and re- 
latives of the sufferers being in an humble condi- 
tion, and unable from their own resources to carry 
on the prosecution, published an advertisement, 
requesting " the assistance of those persons who 
think the death of a fellow-citizen ought to be in- 
quired into." Letters were directed to Mr. Rowan, 
then at his mansion in Rathcoffey, requesting him 
to assist at a meeting in St. Mary's parish, for the 
purpose of pursuing the inquiry. ^At first he de- 
clined, " lest his attendance should be construed 
into a vain attempt at popularity, particularly as 
his name had already been obtruded perhaps too 
often on the public." Some time after, however, 
having returned to town, he was again solicited to 
undertake the conduct of the investigation, which 
there was every reason to suppose would be sup- 
ported by an ample subscription. On this he ex- 
pressed himself well pleased, and set down his 
name for ten guineas. The subscription altoge- 
ther amounted to £4i9 15s. ; the bill of costs to 


.£117 5s. 3d.; and further expences raised the 
amount to £130. This was an expensive business 
to Mr. Rowan, as he had to make up the defi- 
ciency. But he became strongly interested in the 
subject ; and we may guess the intensity of his 
feelings from the following extract of a letter to 
Mrs. Rowan : — " I got down at Ellis's about 
twelve, and from that time until five I was tracing 
every step of the military on the fatal day ; and 
the more inquiry I make, the more I am confirmed 
in the opinion of its being a most diabolical exer- 
cise of power. I saw the father and mother of one 
of the sufferers, whose story is itself a tragedy/ 1 

The whole affair was fully investigated in the 
court of king's bench, before the Hon. Richard 
Power, second baron of the court of exchequer. 
The Solicitor-General endeavoured to show that no 
trespass had been committed, and to extenuate the 
cruelty of bull-baiting. " Be it savage or be it 
not, 11 said he, " or be it such as no man would en- 
courage in these modern times of effeminacy ; be 
it what it may, it has grown up with the common 
law of England as an innocent amusement. There 
are many other amusements that might appear 
equally savage to the refined manners of modern 
times ; there are manly sports calculated to en- 
courage British freedom, and exercises that promote 
bodily health and vigour ; and I may say with 
truth there is no country in Europe, where the 
lower orders of the people are allowed so little 
amusement as in this kingdom. As to the bull- 



baiting, independent of the trespass, I could pro- 
duce several instances of corporations holding their 
charter by having public bull-baits : Chester does 
so ; the Isle of Wight and Naas hold their charters 
by it. However, the question comes simply to 
this : Was there any trespass complained "of 2 
There was not. The parties were considered as 
committing an illegal act, merely because they were 
baiting a bull, which was no offence at all ; it was 
an act which is both lawful and innocent ." The 
Court in summing up the evidence, admitted that 
bull-baiting is, under certain circumstances, legal ; 
but condemned it as cruel. " The practice of 
throwing at cocks on Shrove Tuesday," said the 
learned judge, " had prevailed time out of mind. 
It came at last before the late judge Foster ; he 
condemned it as inhuman, barbarous, and far from 
a manly exercise. If throwing at cocks was con- 
demned, surely bull-baiting should be so too. It 
is a most barbarous custom, and I am resolved, 
as long as ever I have the honour of sitting on the 
bench, to discountenance it." He then stated the 
law and the evidence of the case ; and the jury 
having withdrawn, returned in about five minutes 
with a verdict : " Not guilty." 

As Mr. Rowan took up the cause of the prosecu- 
tion, it may readily be supposed that he concurred 
in the sentiments expressed by the Solicitor-General. 
In a paper prefixed as an " Introduction to the 
published report of the trial," he comments on the 
opinion of the counsel of the crown as supported by 



the charge from the bench, " that an apparent ab- 
solute necessity must be proved, before the killing 
any person became justifiable. Men in all times 
have differed in their ideas of that apparent abso- 
lute necessity, which may excuse the taking the 
life of a fellow-creature who is in their power. The 
soldiers, when St. Paul was shipwrecked on Melita, 
would have put him to death lest 'he should escape ; 
but the centurion, more humane, 'saw not the same 
necessity. One general has cut the waistbands of 
the breeches of his prisoners, to prevent their 
escape ; another has cut their throats. The law of 
England has been declared concerning the time of 
that apparent necessity, in the following unequi- 
vocal terms : * The law permits you not to kill him 
that assails you when you draw near your last re- 
fuge, because you foresee that you shall be driven 
to it, but you must forbear till that necessity be at 
the full period ; for till then it may be otherwise 
prevented or remedied.'' "* Whether any such ne- 
cessity existed on the present occasion, he leaves 
the reader to determine ; adding, M The jury de- 
clared their opinion by a general verdict of acquittal. 
It is a glorious privilege of every British subject, 
to look his twelve judges in the face, and that they 
should be forced to look upon the prisoner, while 
they pledge themselves to the Almighty to do him 
justice. May every criminal cause be thus tried ! 
for those which are otherwise judged derogate from 

* Hobart's Reports, p. 159. 



the glory of the constitution." He describes what 
a bull-bait is, and pleads in justification of the 
practice the countenance given to it by the doctors 
of law and divinity at Cambridge. " The learned 
judge," says he, " allowed the possibility of an in- 
nocent bull-bait ; but he likened it to that bar- 
barous, that cowardly practice of throwing at cocks 
upon Shrove Tuesday, an inhuman, an unmanly 
sport. At Cambridge there were constant bull- 
baitings, under the very eye of the vice-chancellor 
and all the doctors of law and divinity ; and 
Paris, that seat of elegance, had her combats du 
taureau avec de dogues Anglois — bull-baitings, 
which were attended by the first nobility of that 

From the whole tenor of Mr. Rowan's observa- 
tions it is plain than he thought Vance had no jus- 
tifiable necessity to plead ; " but," says he, " he 
has been acquitted by his country, and bold would 
be that man who dared to call him guilty. The 
just proportion between crimes and punishments is 
so ill regulated, that where some sort of adequate 
equalization does not take place between them, the 
law becomes impotent and inactive ; and because a 
man may not merit the most rigorous punishment 
which the law can inflict, he, on this account, is 
free and spotless, in the eye of the law, from all 
offence in the descending scale of criminality. Law 
has not settled the proper gradation of crimes : 
public opinion and private reflection supply this no- 
torious insufficiency. If then this man has any 

Archibald Hamilton rowan*. 


consciousness of official ignorance or incapacity, 
posterior to the voluntary assumption of a magis- 
tracy which made him guardian of the city and 
the citizens ; if he be conscious of any indiscreet 
use of discretionary power, or any precipitate and 
passionate transgression of the bounds marked out 
by just necessity ; what shall he look to : Let 
him look to the aged father lamenting the loss of 
his son, the comfort and support of his years ; let 
him look to those who mourn in silence the prema- 
ture death of their relations. Of small moment 
may the loss of a few lives in the streets of this 
crowded metropolis appear to the man and the 
magistrate ; but to some this loss is measureless 
and irreparable. " — He concludes by a well merited 
compliment to the ; * worthy judge who presided 
at the trial, whose clear, concise, and constitutional 
charge to the jury must create respect and honor ; 
whilst the benevolent manner in which he expressed 
himself concerning the innocent amusements of the 
people, and their right to indulgence in them, ex- 
cited the love and esteem of his audience." 


" Ratkcofey, March 9, 1790." 

Happily since the trial of Vance there has been 
a considerable improvement in the state of public 
feeling, as to the barbarous practice of bull-baiting 
and its kindred M sports" — sports which, to the dis- 
grace of humanity, were too long tolerated, but are 



now nearly, if not altogether extinct. It was more 
from a desire to vindicate what he thought the rights 
of the people, than to justify a cruel custom, that 
Mr. Rowan entered into the opinion of the solicitor- 
general, that as it had grown up with the common 
law of England, it was an innocent amusement. 
He had seen it countenanced by the highest autho- 
rities in the university of Cambridge, and may 
have been taught, with some British statesmen, 
to consider it as necessary to foster the martial 
spirit of the British nation ; a fallacy which few, 
if any, in the present day, will have the folly or 
the hardihood to defend.* 

The solicitor-general said truly, that in no 
country in Europe are the lower orders of the 
people allowed so little amusement as in Ireland ; 
and hence their too frequent recourse to illicit in- 
dulgence, and the factious broils in which, from 
time immemorial, they have been engaged, under 
leaders of the family of " Captain Hock." But we 
may confidently hope and trust that as the great 
work of national education, now in progress, ad- 
vances, their condition in all respects will be ame- 
liorated ; that they will find some rational recrea- 
tion for their leisure moments in mechanic institu- 
tions, and reading societies, as well as in gymnastic 

* The reader is referred to the second section of the ninth 
chapter of the Editor's work on " The Eights of Animals," 
Makdon, London, for some considerations on this subject. 


exercises, and rise to that due degree of civilization 
and refinement, to which the native vigor of their 
genius, if properly fostered and wisely directed, will 
assuredly conduct them. — Ed.] 





Rise and Progress of the Irish Volunteers — Ireland's Rights — 
Molyneux — Grattan — Dungannon Meeting — Grand National 
Convention — Mr. Rowan joins his Father's Company of Vo- 
lunteers as a private — Rumours of French Invasion — Intended 
Address to Lord Charlemont — Attends a Review in Belfast — 
Correspondence — Dr. Drennan — Proceedings in the County 
of Down— Mr. Evans — Electioneering ballads — National Con- 
vention — Mr. Flood — Extract from the Life of Arthur O'Leary 
— Lord Kenmare — Two letters from Dr. John Jebb — Major 
Cartwright — [Additions. ] 

[Before we return to the 44 Memoir," it may be 
interesting to take a review of the rise of the Vo- 
lunteer Association, and the state of public feeling 
in Ireland at that memorable time. 

In 1760, a squadron of French vessels, under a 
gallant commander, M. Thurot, unfurled the flag 
of France in the bay of Carrickfergus. They landed 
their forces within a few miles of the town, and 
after a smart action with the troops of the garrison, 
in which many lives were lost, obtained possession 
both of the town and fortress. On this occasion 
the inhabitants of the surrounding country, for 
many miles, evinced such a martial spirit of resist- 
ance, as demonstrated that no invader should tread 
their soil with impunity. But during the Ameri- 
can war, when Great Britain had to contend with 


the fleets of France and Spain, as well as with her 
revolted colonies, apprehending that they might 
have a similar visit from an active and enterprising 
enemy, the natives of Belfast solicited government 
to station a body of troops in their town, that they 
might be prepared for any such emergency. Go- 
vernment replied : " They could afford only half a 
troop of horse and half a company of invalids." 
Hardy, in his Life of Charlemont, justly observes 
that " this reply was a sufficient justification of the 
people's arming to defend themselves." Accord- 
ingly the people, acting by a simultaneous impulse, 
enrolled themselves under leaders of their own 
choice. The spirit of military ardour was roused, 
and almost every parish in Ulster could soon boast 
of its volunteer corps, self-embodied, self-armed, 
accoutred, and disciplined. The towns strove in 
generous rivalry with the cities, and the villages 
and rural districts with the towns, in the number, 
discipline, and military array of their several com- 
panies. Landlord and tenant, noble and peasant, 
felt the mighty impulse alike. The roll of the 
drum and the sound of the fife were heard in the 
remote glens and vallies ; and Ireland soon exhi- 
bited an armed force which, had she been destined 
to see her shores trodden by invading armies, 
would have driven them back with confusion and 
defeat. Ireland for once was a united country, and 
never since she " rose from the dark-swelling flood," 
did she enjoy such a season of happy excitement, 
or make such rapid advances in the march of civili- 



zation and improvement. The voice of liberty was 
heard echoing across the Atlantic ; it awoke a kin- 
dred spirit in the breast of the Irish nation, and 
from having risen in arms to defend her shores, she 
grasped them more firmly to assert her rights : she 
felt her power, and determined to be free. 

Long prior to this, the question of Ireland's 
right to be governed by her own laws had been 
discussed and supported. Soon after the revolution, 
Molyneux, a scholar, a philosopher, and the friend 
of Locke, had ably asserted and maintained her 
right. John Hely Hutchinson followed in the 
same path, and claimed independence for the Irish 
parliament. In 1780, Grattan made a motion that 
44 no power on earth, save the king, lords, and com- 
mons of Ireland, had a right to make laws for Ire- 
land." In a speech for a " declaration of rights,' 1 
he shewed with what unprecedented rapidity Ire- 
land had sprung from weakness to strength — he 
was not very old, 51 he said, 44 and yet he remem- 
bered Ireland a child. He had watched her growth : 
from infancy she grew to arms — from arms to 
liberty. She was not now afraid of the French : 
she was not now afraid of the English : she was not 
now afraid of herself. Her sons were no longer an 
arbitrary gentry, a ruined commonalty, Protestants 
oppressing Catholics — Catholics groaning under op- 
pression ; but she was a united land."* 

* Mr. Curran, in a note to the life of his father (page 150, 
vol. 1.) says he heard "that the plan of the Volunteer Asso- 



Iu February, 1782, the delegates from 143 corps 
of the province of Ulster, met at Dungannon, and 
passed a series of resolutions expressive of their 
patriotic determinations. These or similar reso- 
lutions were adopted throughout the kingdom ; and 
in October, 1783, delegates from all the corps of 
the province of Leinster assembled at the Royal 
Exchange, in Dublin, where the necessity of a re- 
form in parliament, and of the admission of the 
Roman Catholics to the elective franchise, were 
discussed and advocated. 

On the 10th of November following, a grand 
national convention of volunteer delegates from 
every county in Ireland met at the Royal Ex- 

ciations emanated from the " Monks of the Screw." The chief 
object of that society was to prepare the public mind, by means 
of the press, for a continual resistance to the usurpation of the 
English parliament. A few members of bolder views frequently 
discussed the practicability of arming Ireland. One of these was 
Lord Carhampton, who, on hearing of the answer of government 
to the requisition from Belfast, exclaimed to Dr. Jebb (of Dublin), 
' Now is our time.' Dr. Jebb replied, 4 that the country was ripe 
for the proposal ; and that if supplied with a small sum to defray the 
incidental expences, he would undertake to ensure its success.' He 
named £40, and that sum was handed to him from the funds of 
the society. He was asked no questions, and he never mentioned 
liimself in what particular manner he had employed it. In a few 
days after, Belfast and other towns both in the north and south 
of Ireland declared themselves. Doctor Jebb had established a 
political correspondence with all the considerable places in the 
kingdom ; and his friends, who had been present at the preceding 
conversation, attributed the rapid and simultaneous formation of 
volunteer corps in distant districts, to the impulse given by him 
through agents or written communications," — Collectanea Pali- 
tica, p. 221. 



change, and proceeded thence to the Rotunda, for 
the purpose of discussing the great political ques- 
tions which now occupied and agitated the land. 
Many men of the first distinction for wisdom, vir- 
tue, and eloquence, as well as for rank and power, 
took an active part in those discussions, and by their 
strong arguments and splendid declamations, kin- 
dled the growing fire into a blaze, that at last 
mounted and spread into a general conflagration.* 

That a man of Mr. Rowan's temperament, love 
of popularity, patriotic feeling, and acquaintance 
with military life, should remain unaffected and 
quiescent amid such stirring scenes, was not to be 
imagined. He had already become a favourite with 
the people — their leaders courted his society, proud 
to avail themselves of the influence derived from 
his station in life, his public spirit, and private for- 
tune, of which last he was liberal even to prodigality. 
At first, however, he joined his father's company of 
volunteers in Killileagh, as a private, and in that 
capacity was not less distinguished (as he who 
writes has heard from one who saw and knew it 
well) by his manly stature and dexterous use of 
arms in the field, than by the courtesy and elegance 
of his manners in the social circle. 

As various rumours had been spread of an inva- 
sion of Ireland by her foreign enemies, in order to 

* The case of America had just shewn how a struggle for 
principle might terminate — " British supremacy there had fallen 
like a spent thunderbolt."— Grattan's Speech, 1781, from Cur* 
fans Life, p. 154, 



accustom the volunteers to great military move- 
ments, reviews were held of their numerous bat- 
talions, in all the " pomp, pride, and circumstance 
of glorious war." Those held on the plains near 
Belfast in 1781 and 1782 were strikingly brilliant. 
A report having been propagated that the enemy 
intended to effect a landing somewhere on the coast 
of Cork, a northern army of 15,000 volunteers 
was preparing to join the standing army in case of 
such an attempt. Happily their services in actual 
warfare were not required.] 

I now (says the memoir) accompanied my father 
to the North, where I appeared at the last review 
of the volunteers as a private in my father's com- 
pany ; and I was then appointed by the line to 
present an address (which I had drawn up) to 
Lord Charlemont, from a body of armed citizens 
resolved to continue that association. His lordship 
declined receiving it, but said we should shortly 
meet in our civil capacity, and pass an address to 
parliament, for a reform of abuses. I replied, 
" that citizens with Brown Bess on their shoulders 
were, I thought, more likely to be attended to. r> 

[The review which he attended took place in the 
plain of the Falls near Belfast, on the 12th and 
13th days of July, 1784. On this occasion an 
address was presented by the volunteers assembled 
in Belfast, to " General Earl of Charlemont, ex- 
pressive of respect and veneration for his character, 
and of u satisfaction at the decay of those preju- 
dices which have so long involved us in feud and 



disunion — a disunion which, by limiting the rights 
of suffrage, and circumscribing the number of Irish 
citizens, has, in a high degree, tended to create and 
foster that aristocratic tyranny which is the foun- 
dation of every Irish grievance, and against which 
the public now unanimously exclaim." To this 
address his lordship courteously replied ; at the same 
time declaring that his decision, as to the elective 
suffrage of the Roman Catholics, essentially differed 
from theirs — a decision which he did not entirely 
abandon till a short time previous to his death.* 

On the 25th of October, 1784, an assembly of 
delegates was summoned to meet in Dublin in a 
national congress, for the purpose of promoting 
reform ; and in the ensuing January a meeting was 
held in the county of Down to elect delegates, at 
which Mr. Rowan attended, as appears from the 
following letters : — 

" Newry, Tuesday, 12 January, 1785. 

" Here I am, just arrived in a chaise from Dun- 
dalk ; and here I find my father's servants and 
horses have been waiting for me since Sunday 
morning, and that he put off going to the Down 
hunt on account of my expected arrival. I also 
find here a note from Dr. Drennan, desiring to know 
when I arrive, as he has letters to deliver to me. I 
wrote to him, and am waiting for his answer. If I 
should see him this evening, I shall dine at KilH- 

* History of Belfast, pp. 307, 309. 



leagli to-morrow, but I fear I shall not see him till 
then. They elected delegates at Dundalk, for 
Louth. Had I been sooner I should have just 
looked in upon them, to see the mode of * * * . 
Dr. Drennan's answer just come — he says he will 
do himself the honour of sitting half an hour with 
me, at eight o'clock, and when my examination is 
over I will take up the pen again, to let you know 
how I think I have answered. The doctor is a 
young man, and I acquitted myself 1 a merveitte, 
selon mon idee.'' I find by Bruce's letters to him, 
that he supposed I was come down here to raise an 
interest for future elections. He gave me two let- 
ters from Mr. Bruce, one for Mr. Crawford of 
Crawford's Burn ; the other for Mr. Sharman. 
To-morrow I shall see the castle, and am now sit- 
ting down to drink your health, and success to my- 
self in the county of Down. 

" To Mrs. H. Rowan" 


" Saturday, \5th January, 1785. 

" I will now shew you my independent spirit as 
delegate for the county of Down. Mr. Isaac, Mr. 
Crawford, Mr. Kerr, and my father, were first 
named ; the Rev. Mat. Forde was then proposed, 
and refused the delegation : in his place I was 
named. There were four resolutions, chiefly ex- 
tracted from the late resolutions of the national 
convention : all passed unanimously. Send, or 
rather get my mother to write to Dunn, and give 



him this information, and thank Mr. Bruce for his 
letter to Mr. Crawford. We shall set out on 
Monday from Killileagh. Adieu ! In a hurry go- 
ing back to the castle, past four o'clock. 

" Yours most affectionately, &c." 

Being on another visit to the North in July, he 
writes thus to Mrs. Rowan : — 

u Thursday, 7 th July, 1785. 

" I should be much to blame if I passed a second 
post-town without saying that Jones and I set out 
about seven yesterday, and lay at Dunleer, and 
are now breakfasting at Dundalk. Whether we 
shall get further than Newry or not, this night, 
we are not determined ; but next day will certainly 
take us to Hillsborough ; the horse performed much 
better than the carriage, which will much want new 
legs upon its return. I think Jones and I shall 
return together ; we have proposed spending a day 
with the Newtonards reform club. Evans wanted 
us much to stop at Mount Evans, but we would not. 
We are now deliberating whether we shall go to 
Ravensdale or Lord ClanbrassiFs house : we walked 
a good deal yesterday, and I vote for the latter as 
nearest. * * * I shall go to the Belfast re- 
view * * * God bless you and William, says 
and ever will say your most sincerely affectionate 
friend and husband, guardian, and protector, 

"A. H.R P " 



" KMUmgh, \3th July, 178o. 

w This being the post day, I set down for your 
inspection a few circumstances attending my pro- 
gress through this volunteering journey ; first 
thanking you for your letter and anxiety for my 

" Lord Charlemont came here on Sunday, and 
Blackwood received him ; I turned into the guard 
and was asked to dine with him, but, as you 
may imagine, being the only one asked from the 
castle, I refused ; the next day, a beautiful scene 
indeed, the review formed ; the volunteers were 
really drilled, that is, for fear of accidents, a drill 
was made by a plough along the field, to which 
we stood. I performed as gallantly as did all my 
brother volunteers, and who did not ? I saw the 
dissenting minister who was against my being a 
delegate, and in concert with him drew up an ad- 
dress which Lord Charlemont would not receive ; 
and he means, if possible, to evade receiving any 
from the corps at Belfast. I urged it very strongly, 
perhaps more than there was occasion for, but his 
lordship treats me with even a marked civility, so 
I suppose he is not offended at the manner. We 
yesterday met him at Mr. Forde\ nine miles from 
hence, and came home in the evening. We had left 
a Mr. Clarke, a visitor of my father's, from Eng- 
land, rather ill, and when we enquired on coming- 
in to the house how he was, a certain lady cried out, 
that he had desired white-w r ine-whey, but there 



being no wine left out she had sent to buy some, and 
supposed she would be advertised for it in the next 
Belfast paper. Upon enquiry we found that several 
ballads, very abusive indeed, and foul-mouthed 
without wit, had been distributed about the town, 
from Belfast, one of which I have enclosed for you. 
My father intends to give my mother one of them 
in the ball-room at Hillsborough, and tell her he 
believes she has not seen it since it was in print. I 
advise him not to declare war. He very seriously 
spoke of my occupying the castle, and in a most 
affectionate manner. This I think is worth con- 
sideration, and we will consult upon it. I go to- 
morrow to Belfast, where there are two days reviews. 
Jones comes back with me, so that you may be sure 
of our arrival before parliament meets. Adieu, my 
ever dear girl, 

A. H. 

• The volunteers now began to make strenuous 
efforts in favor of reform. Some citizens of Bel- 
fast resolved on calling a meeting for that pur- 
pose. These were to be all Protestants, five from 
each county, and the same number from every 
large town ; that they should meet in Dublin, and 
propose a plan ; the assembly to be called a na- 
tional convention. My father and I were appointed 
as two of the five for the county of Down. About 
one hundred persons met in Dublin at a room 
in William-street. Here Mr. Flood, one of those 
nominated, developed his plan, but it being merely 



a Protestant reform it was rejected, and he retired 
from the society. A motion was now made, de- 
claring that the possession of civil rights belonged 
equally to all Irishmen, whatever religious opinions 
they might adopt. Only seventeen members sup- 
ported this resolution, and the meeting was shortly 
after adjourned sine die. 

[Prior to Mr. Rowan's journies in 1785, there 
had been a meeting of delegates from thirty-eisht 
volunteer corps reviewed in Belfast, on the 9th of 
June, 1783, at which it had been resolved, " That 
a more equal representation of the people in parlia- 
ment deserves the attention of every Irishman." 
On the 8th of September following a meeting was 
held at Dungannon, of about 500 delegates from 
'2±8 corps of volunteers in the province of Ulster, 
and a series of resolutions passed for the redress of 
grievances, and a reform of the constitution. It 
was also resolved that a committee of five from each 
county should meet in Dublin, to represent the 
province in a grand national convention. The 
number of volunteers represented was not less than 
18,000. " It is said that government was at first 
seriously alarmed at this meeting, and deliberated 
on the propriety of arresting both the chairman 
and secretary ; but this measure being deemed 
hazardous, it artfully contrived to divide the opi- 
nion of the assembly respecting the extension of 
certain privileges to the Roman Catholics, and 
>o rendered the efforts of the convention abor- 



tive." * To this failure the following passage of 
the memoir must allude : — ] 

Since my return to Ireland I have read the Life 
of Arthur O'Learyy published in 1822. The fol- 
lowing paragraph completely discloses the mystery 
of the dissolution of the volunteers who had as- 
sembled at the Rotunda : — 

" In November, 1783, whilst the convention 
was engaged in a debate on the propriety of in- 
troducing into the measures of reform which they 
contemplated, the privilege of Catholics voting at 
elections for members of parliament, a message 
was delivered by Mr. George Ogle, purporting to 
be from Lord Kenmare, and setting forth that the 
Catholics were satisfied with the privileges they had 
already obtained, and desired no more. Lord Ken- 
mare was understood to make this acknowledgment 
in the name of his fellow Catholics, and by their 
authority. The sensation which such a communi- 
cation produced in the meeting may be more easily 
conceived than described. Lord Kenmare, how- 
ever, disowned any part in the transaction. In 
consequence of his disavowal, Mr. George Ogle 
confessed that he had been misled by Sir Boyle 
Roche, on whom all the mistake was laid. He was 
at that time chamberlain to the Lord Lieutenant, 

* Collectanea Politica, vol. 1, p. 354 ; see also the History of 
Belfast, and Hardy's Life of Charlemont. In the last it is stated 
that " Lord Charlemont 's friends took the lead in rejecting the 
proposition." vol. 2, p. 100. 


and his apology was, i that unhappily the clamour 
of the deluded populace had induced his lordship to 
disown him 1 — ' that he could not blame him, for 
in strictness he had a right to do so. 1 Thus ended 
this affair." 

[Notwithstanding the ;i alleged disavowal of hav- 
ing any part in the transaction," those who under- 
stood the character of LordKenmare would, perhaps, 
have little difficulty in believing that the report 
spoke his sentiments in regard to the Catholic body, 
especially if the following graphic delineation be a 
faithful copy of the original : — 44 He had few of 
those qualities which are necessary to sway or to 
enlighten a multitude. Affecting to control and to 
direct popular movements, no man seemed less 
acquainted with the moral machinery by which 
popular purposes are usually effected. He was cold, 
unconciliating, timid, yet fond of petty power, in- 
fluenced by puny ambition, hanging between the 
Catholic and the Protestant, and sacrificing alter- 
nately, and generally unpropitiously, to the evil 
genii around the Castle on the one side, and to the 
chained spirit of his country on the other. Lord 
Kenmare, unlike Lord Taaffe, saw nothing on a 
broad national scale ; he sincerely desired relief from 
grievance, but he looked for such relief to paltry 
artifice, secret diplomacy, bureau influence, and all 
that miserable train of official expedients, by which 
no people were ever yet delivered from their bond- 
age, nor any revolution truly national or perma- 



nent effected in a great or enlightened community. 
Lord Kenmare was a mere second-rate negotiator ; 
and in such a warfare, a Catholic nobleman had 
little chance of successful competition with the 
protean tactics of an ascendancy cabinet. Duped 
by the minister, to the Catholic body mysterious 
and deceitful, betrayed himself and betraying others, 
he dragged on his feeble ascendancy, as degrading 
to the body which admitted it as to the individual 
who imposed the yoke, until the insidious motion 
of 1783, brought forward under the immediate in- 
fluence of the castle, but rejected by a large majority 
of the committee, produced a renewal of those 
dissensions which had so long distracted all Catholic 
councils. This insult, as he construed it to be, was 
never pardoned." — Historical Sketch of the late 
Catholic Asscciation, hy Thomas Wyse, Esq., jun., 
vol. i. pp. 102, 103.] 

I now wrote to my friend Dr. Jebb* on the 

* John Jebb was a Fellow of Peterhouse College, Cambridge, 
when I had the happiness to be recommended to his care. At 
that time he was a clergyman, and possessed two livings in the 
vicinity of the town ; to one of which he had been presented by 
the university. These, with his private pupils, and small paternal 
independence, constituted his income. All these he surrendered 
from principle, on his throwing off his ecclesiastical gown, and 
retiring to Leyden, where he studied medicine, and obtained the 
degree of M. ~D. He practised in London for some time with 
.such success, that had his bodily energy kept pace with that of 
his mind, he might have been reckoned among the heads of his 
profession there ; but he died at fifty years of age, shortly after 
writing these letters. — A. II. R. 


subject, from whom I received the two following 
letters : — 

"Parliament-street, oth March, 1785. 

" Dear Sir, 

" I received with the greatest pleasure 
your favour of the 29th January, and cordially rejoice in 
the account vou srive me of yourself. From what I have 
sees elsewhere, and from the judgment I am entitled to 
form of you, I fear neither your heart nor your head ; and 
trust now you are settled in your own country you will 
be eminently useful to your generation — the highest praise 
of man. 

" As to the questions you put to me, I can only say 
what I have ever said to others, and endeavoured to act 
upon myself: Explore with the utmost exertion of your 
faculties political truth, and having found it, avow it with 
firmness and perseverance. In the end it must succeed, 
and your character be stamped with honour. Temporiz- 
ing expedients are always injurious, when contrary to 
natural right and natural feelings. In my third letter to 
Mr. Sharman I have at full length declared my opinion 
respecting the Catholic question : I cannot without self- 
condemnation depart from that idea. The true fact is, 
the Roman Catholic clergy are naturally induced to look 
to clerical emoluments, and as long as the church hier- 
archy subsists, they are under a temptation to envy the 
persons in possession ; hence the groimd for alarm in the 
minds of many, that the laity, under the influence of the 
Roman Catholic clergy, would be disposed to raise com- 
motions to reinstate the followers of the Church of Rome 
in ecclesiastical benefices. With respect to lands now in 
the hands of Protestants, I really think there can be no 
danger. Upon the plan of a gradual extension of the 



right of suffrage, a length of time would be required to 
form an interest for this purpose. I own that I myself 
am of opinion that one law should be to the Papist and 
the Protestant, and that there is no occasion for any jea- 
lousy whatever, as the evil apprehended from the priest- 
hood above hinted might be effectually done away in the 
first exertions of a reformed parliament, viz. : by a dimi- 
nution of the great clerical benefices, the exclusion of 
bishops from the House of Lords, and the substitution of 
a proper payment of the parochial clergy, in lieu of that 
bane of all improvement, tithes-. 

" Such a measure, diminishing in a great degree the 
lustre of the things contended for, viz. church emolu- 
ments, would put an end to priestly avarice and intole- 
rance, which must subsist as long as the present emolu- 
ments subsist. 

" You see I write freely, perhaps boldly ; but, I am 
satisfied, agreeably to political truth. 

'* All who know me know my attachment to the cause 
of gospel truth ; but I must declare I think the priest- 
hood has ever been the cause of your present state of im- 
becility in your efforts to reform the representation. 

" Christianity may flourish, and would flourish more 
without the aid of bishops in the House of Lords. I 
have no doubt but that a reformed parliament would see 
this : the clergy see it already, and therefore are your 

" As to the Protestants of the north, I much wonder 
they should be alarmed with respect to the Roman Ca- 
tholics. Surely they are exempt from danger. Much 
more reason have they to fear the intolerant spirit of the 
established church ; but as I said before, if the brilliancy 
of church emolument were diminished, an honest Pro- 
testant would have to fear neither. A reformed parlia- 



ment is therefore the first point to be aimed at ; but I 
fear that none can be obtained, unless the honourable and 
worthy of all persuasions cordially unite in the attempt. 

" With respect to your own line of conduct, it becomes 
me not to meddle : you must judge for yourself; I only 
mention my own ideas. 

" On the case of ballot, I own I think it would not 
answer ; not even in Ireland, where the terror of the 
tenantry respecting landholders is extreme. The great 
point with respect to boroughs seems to be in diffusing 
power, i. e. the right of suffrage among householders, 
who, by their nigh dwelling and easy assembling, may 
check the power of great landholders. Towns like Bel- 
fast should be divided into many districts, each electing 
one member; but all this would be easy on Major Cart- 
wright's plan ; or if suffrage was allowed, even as far as to 
householders. I know not Mr. Pitt's idea, having no 
communication with ministers. The conduct of your 
house and ministry raises my suspicions, or more than 
suspicions, of administration here. I hope when the 
congress meet again, lights may transpire from this coun- 
try : be firm, be resolute. The words of Horace are 
strong : Invidiam placare paras, virtute relicta ? con- 
temnere miser. 

" I am yours affectionately, with every good wish from 
hence to you and yours, 


" September 29th, 1785. 

" My Dear Sir, 

" I received by the hands of your 
friend Mr. Kerr your favour of the loth instant, and this 
morning that of the 22d. Your spirit in the cause of the 
public does you great honour, and affords me peculiar 
g 3 



pleasure. Do not under-rate your abilities ; rather labour 
to improve them, as I have no doubt you do ; for I am 
satisfied your integrity and firmness will render you an 
useful citizen, and gain you honour and respect in the 
opinion of the worthiest and ablest of your countrymen. 
Your principles I cannot but approve, because they are 
the same with my own. The question is only how you 
and I, holding such principles, should act ? I am sup- 
posed by many, too pertinacious in my sentiments, and 
have by some, of what are called moderate men, been 
called impracticable ; but I do not repent. I labour in 
the first place to explore political truth ; when found, I 
would avow it, support it, diffuse it, act upon it, and never 
renounce it. Now supposing your feelings as my feel- 
ings, how would I advise you to act, with respect to the 
two great points of the Roman Catholics, and the univer- 
sal right of suffrage ? Certainly I would in all places 
and at all times avow my opinions, that no reform can be 
justly founded which does not admit the Roman Catholics, 
and does not restore to the people their full power. And 
if I were concerned in drawing up an act, the declaration 
of these rights should form the preamble. But you are 
a member of a society wherein the majority do not go so 
far ; so am I ; and whenever I have an opportunity of 
doing it with propriety, I push my idea ; but I do not 
think it right to renounce communion with a set of men 
whom I admire and love, and who, I am persuaded, are 
actuated by the purest views, because I cannot persuade 
them to go to the lengths I do. If I were called upon to 
join in any act implying a renunciation of my principles, 
I would refuse to comply, and protest against the un- 
worthy imposition. Our society lately passed a vote of 
half approbation of Mr. Pitt's reform. I opposed it with 
all my powers; I protested against it, because I look. 



upon Mr. Pitt's plan as inadequate, hostile to true policy, 
subversive of morality, and even much worse than no re- 
form at all ; but still I continue a member, and I trust 
that we shall still do great service to the common cause. 
I mention these facts, as from them you can collect 
what would be my conduct in your case ; you ask my 
opinion, otherwise I should not thus presume. I cer- 
tainly would labour to persuade my fellow-cilizens to adopt 
more generous notions respecting the Roman Catholics, 
representing to them that at first (always professing the 
universal right) votes might be allowed to men of a certain 
quantity of property, the balance still remaining on the 
side of the Protestants ; that thus a trial would be made. 
I know the event : the Roman Catholic religion, or at 
least the worst part of it, would gradually decay. Perse- 
cution being removed, light, and learning, arid industry 
would effect the rest. If a member of the convention, I 
would intrepidly propose my idea, I would make my 
motion ; but, if rejected, why should you withdraw your 
name, and deprive yourself of the power of being useful 
in a less degree ? In the reform club I would, where it 
could be done with propriety, support my idea ; but why 
take offence if the majority do not assent ? Act in con- 
cert with them, so far as they go with you ; labour witli 
others like-minded, by publications and in discourse, to 
diffuse political truth. In the North you would have 
many whose hearts would go in concert with you. Yet 
reject not the communion of men who, certainly, by the 
institution of the club, show they are in earnest and ac- 
tuated by the best views. I am satisfied that in the peo- 
ple at large rests the authority to hold forth a complete 
plan of reform ; and that no plan which originates else- 
where will be effectual. My letters to Colonel Sharman, 
and my address to the freeholders of Middlesex, express 



my idea ; from that idea I cannot depart. A convention 
of the people should be sensible of its own dignity ; they 
should not petition parliament; they should declare 
their will, and, in connexion with the king and nobles, 
should enact. They should even declare the place of 
representative of the people vacant, if the people will sup- 
port them in the idea, and refuse to pay the taxes im- 
posed by any other assembly. Here I go the whole 
ground ; I cannot allow to a partial representation the 
power of denning the people's rights, or of regulating the 
mode in which they are to give their suffrages. If the 
aristocracy perceived this spirit in the people, neither the 
lords nor the crown would longer dare to oppose their 
wishes ; nothing but the idea that the people will do the 
business themselves will have any effect upon the friends 
of despotism ; but unanimity is required ; and to produce 
this unanimity, much previous information is necessary, 
and this I trust you will ever labour to promote ; being 
ready in the mean time to join in any good work which 
leads to perfect freedom, though not generally establishing 
it, and joining heartily with good men in doing good, 
though it be not all the good we wish. Such is my idea ; 
I mention my feeling without reserve. If a number of 
gentlemen would unite upon the form you have sent me, 
it would be well ; but I cannot think the reform club 
would assent to it, and unless you find a majority, or that 
in general they were disposed to it, where would be the 
advantage of proposing it to them ? Many who would 
demur subscribing to such a test may yet be good friends 
to reform, and it would be injurious to the cause to have 
such excluded. The plan is fitter for the association of 
persons in different districts, whose sentiments you know 
to accord with your own. One idea I must beg leave 
also to throw out, which is, not to speak or even to think 


too hardly of individuals embarked in the same design. 
It is right to give them credit for their exertions : suppose 
them actuated by worthy motives till you know otherwise, 
and do not give them offence even then ; the adversary 
rejoices in the want of union of the friends of political 
virtue ; every thing conciliating should be attempted, and 
no man rejected who will go with us one mile on the road 
to reform. And for heaven's sake, avoid all violence of 
expression. Once more, be not diffident of your own abi- 
lities to serve the cause ; go on with firmness in your own 
idea; be courteous to all, willing to act with all, where you 
can do so without violation of your own principles, which 
ought ever to be sacred. I rejoice in the victory of the 
people in the late important struggle, but let them perse- 
vere ; bad things are intended by our ministry ; beware 
of an union. 

" With Mrs. J ebb's good wi>hes, ever affectionately 


In the " Life and Correspondence of Major Cart- 
wright" I rind a passage concerning that invaluable 
character. Dr. Jebb ; it expresses sentiments in 
such accordance with my own, that I hope I shall 
be excused for copying it into this memorial. 

" Gracious God ! that I should live to see John Jebb 
held forth by a professed friend to virtue, as 1 a man of 
too much warmth, and too little worldly wisdom, to be 
proposed as a model of right public conduct !' 

" If emotions the most poignant on reading this pas- 
sage, if the strictest reference to precepts of morality and 
religion, and the most rigid scrutiny of reason, can justify 
reverence and affection for an exalted character, I ought 



to feel that reverence and affection for the memory of 
John Jebb ; and for the very reasons which have induced 
his biographer to undervalue him, to hold him up as a 
bright example to a degenerate world ! If bis feelings 
were acute, and his temperament warm, they served the 
ends for which the Deity has given us feeling and sym- 
pathy, to stimulate to virtuous actions ; for if any man 
was a conscientious imitator of the mildness and benevo- 
lence of Jesus, it was my departed friend. Often indeed 
have I seen him agitated by the counteraction of the 
selfish and the criminally ambitious ; often have I known 
him misrepresented and traduced with acrimony ; but 
never did I know him on such occasions to speak or act 
otherwise than as the dictates of christian charity and 
political wisdom (according to my conceptions of them) 
dictated to him. 

" And is it true that the ' principles of the American 
war,' and those by which every scheme for a reform of 
parliament, to be worthy of regard, must be regulated, 
have 'ceased to interest ?' God forbid that I should en- 
deavour to inculcate such doctrines ! God forbid that 
my country should be so utterly lost to public feeling, 
and so utterly incapable of virtuous sentiments, as to sub^ 
scribe to an opinion so degrading ! For me, for inspiring 
the rising generation to act worthily and greatly, I would 
propose to them the godlike example of John Jebb." 

[To the brief sketch of Dr. John Jebb given in 
the Memoir, it may not be uninteresting to add 
that his reputation as a scholar stood high at Cam- 
bridge. He alarmed the university by giving lec- 
tures on the Greek Testament, in which he broached 



doctrines replicant to the M Thirty-nine Articles/" 
In consequence of reading the Scriptures without 
the control of creeds, he became a Unitarian ; and 
after resigning his church livings, he followed the 
practise of physic, and became a distinguished poli- 
tician in London. In these proceedings he was 
heartily cheered by Mrs. Jebb, who deemed no 
duty superior to preserving the integrity of his 
conscience. Of this excellent lady the reader may 
see an interesting memoir in the Monthly Repo- 
sitories for October and November. 1812. from 
which the preceding and following notices are se- 
lected. In a thin and small, but elegantly formed 
person, she lodged a vigorous and comprehensive 
mind ; her conversation was sprightly, argumenta- 
tive and profound ; her language fluent, happy, 
and correct ; her countenance beaming with anima- 
tion and benevolence. In her were combined supe- 
rior powers of intellect with the liveliest sensibili- 
ties of the female heart. In some literary contests, 
under the assumed name of Priscilla. she supported 
her husband's opinions with a force of argument 
that made his antagonists quail. Her success 
against Dr. Randolph was so signal, that Paley 
quaintly and happily observed, * ; See this whole 
charge answered in the London Clcronich, by Pris- 
cilla. The Lord hath sold Sisera into the hand 
of a woman f With her husband she reprobated 
the design of coercing the American colonies ; 
joined in his exertions to procure a reform in par- 
liament, and took a leading part with him in the 



discussion of all great constitutional questions. 
Amongst these the liberties of the Irish nation 
were pre-eminent, from the formidable attitude 
which that nation had of late assumed. Dr. J ebb's 
exertions brought on a premature decay ; and his 
afflicted wife, after attending him in a fruitless ex- 
cursion to Cheltenham for relief, watched over his 
pillow with most anxious solicitude, and received 
his last sigh on the evening of March 2, 1786. 
During the remainder of her life, she cherished 
those sentiments of genuine piety and christian 
philanthropy which were dear to a husband whose 
memory she revered, and to whose authority she 
would appeal while pointing with veneration to his 
bust, which stood beside her on a table. " She had 
a nice, and even scrupulous sense of honour and 
propriety, and a delicacy of mind which admitted 
no compromise with that masculine boldness in 
which some females of a highly cultivated intellect 
have at times indulged." After a confinement of 
many years, sustained with cheerful resignation, 
this estimable lady died January 10, 1812, and 
was interred over the remains of her husband, in 
the dissenters' burying ground, Bunhill Fields, 
London. No monumental eulogy is wanting to re- 
cord their worth. 

John Dunne, Esq. K.C. mentioned in one of the 
letters to Mrs. Rowan, was a gentleman whose 
society and friendship were worthy of being courted 
in the first circles of the land. He was the son of 
the Rev. Dr. Dunne, a highly esteemed pastor of 



the Presbyterian congregation of Strand-street, 
Dublin. " Possessed," as the Rev. Dr. Armstrong- 
has truly stated, " of natural talents of a very high 
order, he improved and embellished them with a 
varied store of literary acquirements seldom found 
united in one person. He was long a leading 
member of the Irish bar, and also a member of the 
Irish parliament, in both of which situations he 
maintained a character of spotless integrity. In 
the latter part of his life he devoted himself with 
deep interest and research to the study of the 
sacred scriptures, and was a decided Unitarian. 
All his acquirements and honors derived an inde- 
scribable charm from the urbanity of his demeanor, 
and the boundless benevolence of his heart." 

It is much to be lamented that we have no fuller 
record, none at least known to the editor, of this 
highly estimable character. Such men as he should 
not be consigned to oblivion. One durable memo- 
rial of his o-enius mav be seen in the ninth volume 

O t/ 

of the " Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, 1 '' 
viz. a paper entitled " Notices relative to some of 
the Native Tribes of North America, read May 
3, 1802." Disgusted by the turbulent and san- 
guinary scenes of civilized life at a time when his 
professional reputation would soon have seated him 
on the bench, he was led by a romantic wish to 
become acquainted with man in the savage state. 
Accordingly he crossed the Atlantic, and for a time 
conformed to the manners and customs of an Indian 
tribe. His wish to know what passed in the " re- 



cesses of the North American wigwams, and in the 
hearts of their inhabitants," was fully gratified by 
the friendship of a Miami chief, who adopted him, 
(according to their custom, in the place of a deceased 
friend by whose name he was distinguished) and who 
entered warmly into his views and gave him his 
confidence. The chief who thus honoured him was 
the celebrated Tchikanakoa who commanded the 
united Indians at the defeat of General St. Clair. 
With these " Notices" are connected some tales and 
fables of the Indians, with strictures on their lan- 
guage, which are highly interesting. In his selec- 
tion of some rythmical lines of the Indian muse, as 
well as in his own brilliant description, he presents 
us with a nobly poetic idea of the " Sublime Ni- 
agara" whose father is the sun, whose bed, in which 
the great ocean laid her down, was excavated by the 
impetuous lightnings ; the parent of exhalations, whose 
dews shine as the silver of heaven, feared by the thun- 
der, by the rainbow loved. 

William Drennan, M.D. one of Mr. Rowan's 
principal political friends, was well known as a 
gentleman of highly cultivated mind, a physician, 
a patriot, and a poet, of whose genius Ireland may 
be proud. His father was the Rev. T. Drennan, a 
Protestant dissenting minister of great piety and 
learning, pastor of the first congregation of Pro- 
testant dissenters in Belfast. He was born in 
1755, and received his professional education in 
the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, and 
followed his profession successively in Newry, Dub- 



lin, and Belfast. He was resident in the first of 
these places when Mr. Rowan first commenced an 
acquaintance with him, which was subsequently 
renewed in Dublin, when they were frequently 
brought together by their co-operation in the same 
cause. Independently of this there were perhaps 
but few points of mutual attraction between them. 
Apparently there was a remarkable contrast : the 
one being of Herculean size, warm, impetuous, but 
highly polished and courteous withal ; the other 
low in stature, cold in manner, slow, deliberative, 
but lodging in his breast the elements of a lofty 
and noble spirit. He took an early interest in the 
political affairs of his country, and acquired no 
small celebrity by a series of animated addresses to 
the " seven northern counties not represented in 
the national assembly of delegates held at Dublin, 
in October, 1784, for obtaining a more equal re- 
presentation of the people in the parliament of Ire- 
land." These addresses were first published in the 
Belfast Xews-Letter, under the title of " Letters of 
Orellana, an Irish Helot." He remained faithful 
to the principles he had early embraced, and helped 
to keep alive the patriotic spirit of his country, by 
various compositions, always distinguished by their 
energy and warmth, among which may be reckoned 
his Letters to Pitt and to Fox. He was one of the 
first and most zealous promoters of the society of 
United Irishmen, and author of the well known 
test of their union. His muse also having caught 
the inspiration of Tyrtseus, and of him who gang 



the eulogy and epicedium of Harmodius and Aris- 
togeiton, poured forth such strains as extorted for 
their poetry the praises even of those who dissented 
from their political sentiments. The song of " Erin 
to her own tune? was at its first publication sung 
and resung in every corner of the land, and it still 
continues to enjoy the admiration of its readers. 
It had the glory of first designating his country as 
" The Emerald Isle? an appellation which will be 
permanent as it is beautiful and appropriate. His 
" Glendalough 1, is a monument of his genius, vene- 
rable as the " hallowed tower 1 ' which it celebrates, 
and inscribed with the deep indignant feelings with 
which he contemplated the wrongs of his country. 
He wrote some hymns of such rare beauty and ex- 
cellence, as to cause a regret that they are not more 
numerous, and in some of the lighter kinds of 
poetry showed much of the playful wit and inge- 
nuity of Goldsmith. Several compositions of great 
power on political subjects have been attributed to 
his pen ; with what justice it will be the business 
of his biographer to ascertain. In 1800, he pub- 
lished " A Protest from one of the People of Ire- 
land against a Union with Great Britain," in which 
he expresses his " fixt abhorrence and instinc- 
tive antipathy against this legislative and incor- 
porating union, that takes away the body as well 
as the soul of the Irish people."* Though deeply 
engaged in the political transactions of Ireland, 

* In these sentiments he differed widely from Mr. Rowan. 



though prosecuted and incarcerated, he did not 
neglect the more tranquil and elegant studies of 
polite literature. Having removed from Dublin to 
Belfast, he there, in conjunction with some literary 
gentlemen, of whom were the celebrated botanist 
John Templeton. Esq. and John Handcock of Lis- 
burn, undertook the publication of the Belfast Ma- 
gazine ', for which he wrote the " Monthly Political 
Retrospects," compositions easily recognized to be 
his, by the elegant illustration of their various 
topics and the warm colouring of their style. He 
took a prominent part in the establishment of the 
Belfast Academical Institution, and published a 
volume of Fugitive Pieces in 1815, and in 1817 
a translation of the Electra of Sophocles. He died 
in 1820, leaving a beloved wife with three sons and 
a daughter to lament his loss, and deeply regretted 
by all who had enjoyed the pleasure of his society 
and friendship. Of his eldest son, William Dren- 
nan, Esq. M.R.I. A. the editor does not stand alone 
in affirming that he inherits the taste and genius 
of his father. 

Another character to whom our attention is 
directed, by his being the fellow-traveller of Mr. 
Rowan in his volunteer excursion to the north, is 
William Todd Jones, a gentleman of respectable 
family in the north of Ireland, and for some years 
a representative in parliament of the borough of 
Lisburn. He took an early and active part in the 
affairs of the volunteers, became a member of the 
Northern Whig Club, and devoted all the energies 



of a vigorous and well informed mind to the liberal 
politics of his country. Thanks were returned to 
him unanimously by a meeting of delegates from 
thirty-eight corps of volunteers, reviewed in Belfast 
the 9th of June, 1783, " for the singular politeness 
and ability with which he conducted the review." 
In the following year he was appointed exercising 
officer by the delegates of thirty-one corps of volun- 
teers assembled at Belfast, March 17, 1784, and at 
the ensuing review " set an example by lying on 
straw in the encampment, and never leaving it till 
the last company had marched off, which it is to be 
hoped will be imitated by future officers invested 
with so useful a trust.' 1 * His political character 
and spirit may be learned from the following ex- 
tract from his letter of thanks for the honour thus 
conferred upon him : — " In Ulster I contemplate 
the steady supporters of Irish rights, and at Bel- 
fast I glory in the body who shewed the precedent ; 
aristocracy, venality, self-elected parliaments, and 
British interests, must sink before such a virtuous 
phalanx. But if we should be unsuccessful, at 
least it will testify ' our lives have had some smack 
of honour in them and they who enslave us will 
have a tough bout of it, contending with men who 
postpone life to liberty." When Lord Oharlemont, 
in reply to an address from the volunteer army 
reviewed at Belfast, dissented from their wish to 
extend the elective franchise to their Catholic fellow- 

w History of Belfast, Berwick, 1817, 


subjects, Jones addressed a letter to them, animad- 
verting on his Lordship's answer, and strongly re- 
commending the measure to which his Lordship 
objected.* Agreeably to this recommendation, in 
1792, he published a letter to the societies of united 
Irishmen in Belfast on the restoration of the rights 
of the Roman Catholics, and rendered the latter such 
important services, that their " committee of hono- 
rable engagements" resolved to express the grati- 
tude of their body by a donation of ^1,500. Of 
this sum he received ^1,000 ; but the remaining 
i?500 not being given, he expressed his " extorted 
disapprobation" of their ingratitude, and of their 
44 bronzed insensibility of all memory subdued," in 
an advertisement in which he compares himself to 
" a laborious river pouring forth its current of life, 
and them to a barren shallow ingulfing it to its 
fountain at the same time he reminds them, that 
for fourteen years he had been tacitly receiving 
newspaper detraction upon the score of being the 
advocate of the Catholics of Ireland. W. Paulet 
Carey, editor of the Evening Star, eulogized him 
as the " first Protestant senator who brought for- 
ward the question of Catholic emancipation. " When 
Sir Richard Musgrave published his History of tlte 
Irish Rebellion, Mr. J ones was exasperated by some 
offensive passages in that work, and in a reply re- 
futing Musgrave's assertions, he speaks with proud 
scorn at being obliged to enter the lists with such 

* History of Belfast, Berwick, 1817. 


an antagonist. " I can now,'" says he, " be truly 
sensible of the tyranny of a Nero, who compelled a 
gentleman to combat with a gladiator." He re- 
futes the charge that he was influenced by 44 sordid 
or sinister motives" in espousing the cause of his 
Roman Catholic countrymen, with whom for many 
years he had no connection, 44 owing," says he y 44 to 
the circumstances of my early education in Britain, 
as well as of my birth, which was hereditarily in 
the established church, and in the very bosom of 
the Quakers and other Protestant dissenters of Ul- 
ster. To the Quakers be my perpetual gratitude ! 
to them I am indebted for the imbuing my youth- 
ful mind with humanity, forbearance, and tolera- 
tion !" 

Touching his acquaintance with Tone, which 
is dwelt upon by Sir Richard with peculiar repeti- 
tion and pertinacity, he speaks in terms highly 
honourable to his own manly and generous cha- 
racter, as will be admitted even by those who 
pronounce the most unqualified condemnation on 
Tone's political career. 44 True, he was the son of 
a coachmaker. I cannot wipe away the aspersion 
with time to whom it is such, and indelible. He 
is dead ! and early friendship drops a tear upon his 
catastrophe, pardoned but by such a bosom as Sir 
Richard Musgrave's. I seek not to disclose his 
merits, or draw his frailties from the tomb. Re- 
mote from all political considerations, he was genius, 
taste, and talent personified ; almost unrivalled in 
the qualities which convince the reason and arrest 


the heart. Would any dreaming Irishman but 
Sir Richard Musgrave have imagined that I would 
shrink from his name, and much less so when de- 
parted ; I have ever thought boldly for myself, 
and so thinking, have boldly acted, both towards 
my friends and towards my foes." 

Of Sir Richard's book he says, " it is the stab of 
Falstaff inflicted upon the slaughtered Percy 
and concludes by remarking : t; With Sir Richard 
Musgrave let there remain the odorv of having 
done his uttermost in extinguishing any faint ray 
which might now be orient in Ireland, any dawning 
promise of returning confidence, tranquillity, and 
reconciliation — to have edited one more libel in tra- 
duction of a whole people ; * * * to have testified 
himself one of that too numerous band of native 
landholders, who compose in Ireland the unnatural 
and unique phenomenon amid the nations of the 
world — men who detest the countryman that culti- 
vates their acres, who calumniate to. other countries 
the subdued and crawling peasant of their own ; 
and whose ears and hearts are to be chiefly gratified 

* Sir Richard Musgrave's book was dedicated to the Marquis 
of Cornwallis, by permission. But on its publication the "per- 
mission" was ordered to be withdrawn, by a rescript from Dublin 
Castle, dated March 24, 1801, and stating that, "had his Excel- 
lency been apprized of the contents and nature of the work, he 
would never have lent the sanction of his name to a book which 
tends strongly to revive the dreadful animosities wliich have so 
long distracted this country, and winch it is the duty of every 
good subject to endeavour to compose. — Col. Edward Little- 



by a rancorous, indiscriminate, and defamatory 
abuse of those, than which nothing could more insult 
and mortify the gentlemen of every other clime in 
Europe, the general inhabitants of their native 


In Toners Life may be seen a letter from Lady 
Moira, mother of the Marquis of Hastings, to 
William Todd Jones, in which she says : "I have 
been amazed with your eccentricities since you 
were three feet high. As for making a democrat 
of me, that, you must be persuaded, is a fruitless 
hope ; for to keep my Manclie and my Clarence 
arms it is more probable I should turn Amazon ; 
and having the blood of Hugh Capet in my veins, 
am from nature a firm aristocrat : yet I like to see 
and hear persons of different sentiments." 

Though he wished to make Lady Moira a demo- 
crat, it has been said that there was no inconside- 
rable share of aristocratic feeling in his own tem- 
perament — an incongruity by no means uncommon. 
In company he was highly diverting and facetious. 
The polish of his manners and the vivacity of his 
conversation rendered him acceptable to the best 
society. — Ed.] 

* Dated, Liverpool, July 30, 1801, and near "Wrexham in Den- 




Elected to command the Killileagh Volunteers — Northern Whig 
Club — Dr. HaJiday — Celebration of the French Revolution in 
Belfast — National Guards — Government prohibits the meetings 
of the Volunteers — Lord Charlemont grieved by their proceed- 
ings — United Irishmen — progress of their union — French in- 
fluence — Rabaud de St. Etienne — Rowan accused of distribut- 
ing a seditious libel — Affair of Tandy with Toh r — Acts as 
second to Dowlmg in liis duel with Burrowes — Interview with 
the Lord Chancellor — Falsely accused by the Lord Advocate 
of Scotland — Goes to Edinburgh — arrested — bailed — Letter of 
Colonel Macleod on duelling — Scottish Political Martyrs — Re- 
turns to Ireland. 

[In May, 1786, Mr. Rowan was unanimously 
chosen to the command of the Killileagh Volun- 
teers, on which occasion he wrote a letter to their 
secretary, Mr. William M'Connell, expressing his 
thanks, and the sentiments by which he was in- 
fluenced in accepting the honor of such an appoint- 
ment. " I think it my duty, 1 ' says he, " to lay 
my general ideas before the community into which 
I am called. I must own the torpid state of the 
volunteers of Ireland distresses me. At the first 
institution of the volunteer associations, the peace 
of this nation was endangered by foreign invaders, 
and the universal obligation of bearing arms for the 
public defence seemed to be equalled by the zeal 
h 2 



with which the people armed themselves ; an uni- 
formity of opinion concerning the internal politics 
of this nation has been concluded ; some corps have 
laid down their arms, whilst others have started 
up ; some new links, then, are now necessary ; the 
reformation of the present state of the representa- 
tion of the people is, in my opinion, the point to 
which, and to which alone, the volunteers should 
tend. The constitution is as much endangered 
now from the corruption and the unconstitutional 
influence of a few domestic, as it formerly was from 
a host of foreign, enemies. Are the volunteers to 
be contented to meet anually in silent mock parade ? 
are they, with the arms of peace in their hands, to 
permit that constitution, which the blood of our 
ancestors was shed in establishing against open 
force, to be mouldered down by the corrupt prac- 
tices of a few ? Or are they to stand forth the 
guardians of the rights of mankind, and the deter- 
mined opposers of every kind of tyranny \ When 
I was proposed and admitted into the Killinchy 
company of volunteers, it was not for the parade of 
the red coat, nor the merriment of a review day : it 
was to assist in defeating the insidious policy of 
corrupt courtiers, who decried the institution, be- 
cause they dreaded its virtue. It is with this view 
that I now accept the honour you are pleased to 
confer on me ; and by these ideas my future con- 
duct will be regulated ; and I trust that the com- 
pany, who have so affectionately called me among 
them, will co-operate in the noble cause. " 


In a letter of the same date, to the volunteers of 
Killinchy, he says, that " among citizens armed 
for their constitutional as well as national safety, 
no superiority is known but that of daring most for 
the public good." He then exhorts them thus : — 
" Persevere, my dear friends, in the constitutional 
privilege of not only bearing arms, but being fami- 
liar in the use of them, which can only be acquired 
by exercising in bodies. Ministers may be inso- 
lent, the great and wealthy may be corrupt ; but a 
free and intrepid yeomanry, with the arms of peace 
and of defence in their hands, will, I trust, preserve 
this once famous, but now tottering constitution. 1 ' 

In 1790, the Northern Whig Club was formed 
in Belfast by some zealous friends of liberty, at the 
suggestion of Lord Charlemont, who had been 
chiefly instrumental in forming the Whig Club of 
Dublin.* His friend and correspondent, Dr. Hali- 
day, entered warmly into his views, and the club 
was formed under the most favourable auspices ; 
and with the hope that by promoting the cause of 
constitutional freedom, the progress of the wild 
democratical notions, which now began to prevail, 
might be arrested. Of this society, which soon 
comprehended some of the most distinguished names 

* " Whilst he was thus constitutionally and wisely employed, 
some of the Castle adherents insisted, in all companies, that he 
was diffusing anarchy, and a spirit of resistance to all govern- 
ment ; and one person said, that 1 Haliday should he hanged 
the usual ebullitions of ignorant servitude and precipitate arro- 
gance."— Hardy's Life of Charlemont, vol. 2, p. 195. 



in the north of Ireland, Gawin Hamilton, Esq. was 
appointed president, and Dr. Haliday secretary. 
From the latter Mr. Bowan received a compliment- 
ary letter, from which is the following extract : — 
" When we first thought of establishing a Northern 
Whig Club (a measure which the circumstances of 
the times seem loudly to call for, and which is al- 
ready operating to the public good), you naturally 
occurred to our thoughts ; your excellent principles 
were too well known, and your exertions in behalf 
of liberty and of justice, not to excite a general 
wish that we might have you to boast of as one of 
our members. I now write, with the pleasing ex- 
pectation that I shall be empowered to add your 
name to our respectable list of original members, 
and in the hope that we may have the satisfaction 
of seeing you sometimes amongst us." 

Of the accomplished writer of this request, the 
reader may see a well drawn sketch in the Belfast 
Magazine for September, 1810. Though anony- 
mous, it may be recognized by its tone and colour 
to be an emanation from the pencil of Drennan, as 
one or two extracts will testify : — 

" Alexander Henry Haliday, M.D. a gentleman, 
who, for the space of half a century, illustrated his 
native town of Belfast by a character distinguished 
for private worth, consistent public spirit, much 
elegant accomplishment, and high professional re- 
putation. His talents and attainments were far 
from being confined within the circle of his profes- 
sion, though they were never allowed to interfere 



with his duties. His powers in conversation, so 
generally admired, were the product of a great 
sociability of nature, and a quick discernment, ren- 
dered still more acute by native wit : lively with- 
out libertinism, and sportive without sarcasm. His 
wit was a salt that highly seasoned the pleasures 
of the table, without any corrosive malignity. He 
loved to play with words, as Scipio and the good 
Laelius are said to have diverted themselves with, 
pebbles. In fact he possessed all those various and 
versatile qualities which render conversation in- 
teresting and delightful — good sense, facility of 
thought, taste, fancy, a knowledge of the world, a 
turn for agreeable anecdote, a happy frivolity, an 
easy and graceful vivacity. A man of such a mind 
and such manners naturally became the real resi- 
dent representative of his native town. On every 
public occasion, when Belfast wished to place itself 
in the most respectable point of view, to visitors 
distinguished by rank, station, or talent, Dr. Hali- 
day, at the head of the table, was in his appropriate 
place ; and his guests, however eminent, never 
failed to find in the physician of a country town, 
an urbanity of manners, a variety of information, 
a happy and opportune wit, a just tone and timing 
in whatever he said, which set him, at the least, on 
a level with those who possessed patents of dignity 
or high official situations. * * * In his political 
principles he was a genuine Whig ; not under- 
standing by that denomination, the mere factionary 
of a powerful party, but the hearty hater of arbi- 



trary power, whether exercised by individuals or 
by parties ; the zealous, yet the judicious advocate 
of civil and religious freedom ; the strong upholder 
of those popular principles which form the living 
spirit of the British constitution, and which, at dif- 
ferent periods, have called forth all the heroism of 
"British story. It was at the civic commemoration 
of those illustrious epochs, in which Haliday gave 
his head and heart to the social celebration, while 
he supported at the same time the just prerogatives 
of the crown, as perfectly compatible with the ori- 
ginal and ultimate sovereignty of the people. In 
the principles of civil and religious liberty he lived, 
and in them he died ; they were the loved of his 
youthful friendships, and they consolidated the 
attachments of his maturer years. These were the 
associating principles of Maclaine, Bruce, Wight, 
and Plunket, the principles of the venerable Cam- 
den, and the amiable Charlemont, of the untitled 
Stewart, and the unpensioned Burke. These were 
the principles which gained him the confidential 
correspondence of that great and good man, Henry 
Grattan, and the same principles which led him to 
regard Charles Fox as the tutelary genius of the 
British constitution." 

The volunteers had done much for the good of 
their country, but the progress of reform was tardy ; 
and though it had gone on with accelerating speed, 
it could scarcely have kept pace with the ardent 
and excited imaginations of those, who were ready 
to peril life and fortune in what they deemed the 



sacred cause of liberty and man. The French re- 
volution acted as a spell on the minds of Irishmen, 
rendering them more and more impatient of their 
grievances, and prompting them to more energetic 
exertion, to break asunder every link of the chains 
by which they felt themselves galled. They had 
seen a'mighty nation rising as a lion from slumber, 
casting oft' the voke under which she had groaned 
for ages, and demonstrating the impotence of de- 
spotism against the stern resolves of a people intent 
on the vindication of their rights. Their sympathy 
was roused to a state of excitement almost painful, 
and that longed to find relief and indulgence, in re- 
acting such spirit-stirring scenes as those which 
had warmed their imaginations. On the 14th of 
July, 1791, the French revolution was commemo- 
rated in Belfast with an indescribable enthusiasm, 
never witnessed there on any other occasion before 
nor since. " The more strongly to mark their ab- 
horrence of tyranny, their love of liberty, and their 
attachment to their brethren of mankind, they de- 
dicated that day to the commemoration of the 
greatest event in human annals. Twenty-six 
millions of our fellow-creatures, (nearly one-sixth 
of the inhabitants of Europe) bursting their chains, 
and throwing off almost in an instant the desrad- 
ing yoke of slavery, is a scene so new, so interest- 
ing, and sublime, that the heart which cannot par- 
ticipate in the triumph, must either have been 
vitiated by illiberal politics, or be naturally de- 



Accordingly the volunteer societies, 

horse, foot, and artillery, with a dense multitude of 
spectators, assembled at the Exchange, and thence 
paraded the principal streets in all the pomp and 
pride of military array, with banners and scrolls 
inscribed with mottos expressive of the sentiments 
which animated their bosoms. The procession end- 
ed, and the day was closed by an entertainment, at 
which " Colonel Sharman, whose excellent political 
and private virtues have stood such tests as endear 
him to every good mind in this kingdom, having 
been unanimously called to the chair, presided with 
that dignity and propriety which mark every part 
of his conduct in life." They pledged the health 
of the great . friends and benefactors of mankind, 
of Washington and Oharlemont, of Franklin, of 
Grattan and Price, not forgetting the memory of 
the illustrious dead, of Locke, of Mirabeau, and 
Dr. J ebb, mingled with sentiments of patriotism, 
liberty, and benevolence. 

Such was the demonstration of public feeling in the 
liberal and enlightened town of Belfast, the Athens 
of Ireland. The example was influential and per- 
suasive. New companies of volunteers were formed, 
that spoke of their country's wrongs in more indig- 
nant tones, and demanded her rights with a voice 
resolved to be heard. They adopted the style, and 
imitated the manners of the French revolutionists. 
In Dublin a " National Guard" was formed, like 

* Histonj of Belfast, p. 348. 



that of Paris : the name of u citizen soldier ' was 
adopted ; and the harp without the crown, and 
surmounted by the cap of liberty, became the favo- 
rite emblem. A summons was issued by one of 
their commanding officers, to the national guards 
and volunteer corps, to assemble on the 9th of De- 
cember. 1792, to celebrate the victories of the 
French over the allied armies, and the triumph of 
universal liberty. The Irish government beheld 
these movements with jealou-v and alarm ; and 
saw the necessity of raining a vigorous hand to ar- 
rest the progress of principles, which, from being 
those of reform, were rapidly changing into those 
of revolution. A proclamation was issued, forbid- 
ding the intended demonstration. Affairs had not 
yet arrived at an extreme, and it was sullenly 
obeyed ; but a fire had been kindled, which was to 
be extinguished only by blood. 

The conduct of the volunteers was a serious 
affliction to the virtuous and truly patriotic Lord 
Charlemont. who had for many years been their 
most prudent counsellor as well as commander. A 
friend to liberty and constitutional reform, he was 
a foe to all such violent and anarchical proceedings 
as brought disgrace upon the French revolution. 
In a letter to Dr. Haliday. published by Hardy, 
he says of the French : For a week they were 
old Romans, and have since been savage Gauls. 
Inspecting the volunteers of this city, they are, 
alas ! no longer what they were. I have, indeed, 
been their nominal general ; but for many years 



past they have in no instance followed my advice, 
nor have they ever taken it when offered unasked. 
Their follies have brought shame on the institu- 
tion : upon a late occasion their conduct has been 
absolutely indefensible. No Egyptian hierophant 
could have invented an hieroglyphic more aptly 
significant of a republic, than the taking the crown 
from the harp, and replacing it by the cap of liberty. 
The corps which adopted this emblem, and gave 
itself the title of national guards, was on all hands 
condemned ; yet all my endeavours could not pre- 
vail on many other corps to avoid sharing their 
fate, by adopting them as brethren. Their silly 
affectation of French summons ! French appella- 
tions ! &c. &c. The anxiety their conduct has oc- 
casioned me is beyond expression, and neither my 
health or spirits can any longer bear it." 

Various associations were new formed for' the 
avowed purpose of improving- the constitution ; but 
one which absorbed all the rest, was that which had 
for its object the Union op Irishmen of every grade 
and of every religious denomination ; and never was 
a plan of the kind carried on with greater success, 
or with a fairer promise of ultimately accomplishing 
the great objects for which it was devised. Theo- 
bald Wolfe Tone, generally supposed to have been 
the originator of this association of United Irish- 
men, in conjunction with Thomas Russel, a military 
officer, whose life was afterwards forfeited to the 
laws, held their first meeting in Belfast on the J 4th 
of October, 1791. On the 9th of the following 



November, a similar meeting was held at the Eagle, 
in Eustace-street, Dublin, at which the Honourable 
Simon Butler, son of Lord Mountgarret, presided, 
and James Napper Tandy, an opulent and influ- 
ential merchant, acted as secretary. After making 
a summary of their grievances, it was stated that a 
society had been composed of all religious persua- 
sions, who had adopted for their name the Society 
of United Irishmen, pledged to their country and 
to each other, steadily to support, and endeavour by 
all due means to carry into effect, several resolutions 
to promote a cordial union of all the people of Ire- 
land, and effect a complete and radical reform of 
the representation in parliament.* 

The following is a copy of their celebrated test : — 

" 7, A. B. in the presence of God, do pledge myself 
to my country, that I will use all my abilities and in- 
fluence in the attainment of an impartial and adequate 
representation of the Irish nation in parliament ; and 
as a means of absolute and immediate necessity in the 
establishment of this chief good of Ireland, I will 
endeavour as much as lies in my power, to forward a 
brotherhood of affection, an identity of interests, a 
communion of rights, and an union of power among 
Irishmen of all religious persuasions ; without which 
every reform in parliament must be partial, not na- 
tional, inadequate to the wants, delusive to the wishes, 
and insufficient for the freedom and happiness of this 

* Proceedings of the Society of United Irishmen of Dublin. — 
Philadelphia, 1795. 



Rules were formed for the times of meeting and 
admitting members, and committees of constitution, 
finance, of correspondence, and of accommodation 
were appointed. The secretary was to be fur- 
nished with the. following seal, vizj a harp ; at the 
top, " / am new strung" ; at the bottom, " / will 
be heard and on the exergue, " Society of United 
Irishmen of Dublin." But the society was not 
Ions: confined either to Dublin or Belfast. Like the 
circle caused by the pebble in the lake, it continued 
to spread wider and wider, not decreasing either in 
force or in volume as it receded from the centre ; 
but moving on with swelling strength and accele- 
rating speed, until it covered the land. 

On the 30th of December, 1791, it was unani- 
mously resolved that a circular, composed by Dr. 
Drennan, should be adopted and printed, stating 
that the object of the institution was to make " an 
united society of the Irish nation ; to make all Irish- 
men, citizens ; all citizens, Irishmen — union is power 
— it is wisdom — it must prove liberty." In the 
course of the ensuing year various similar meetings 
were held, and none of the means usually employed 
to excite and keep alive popular feeling were ne- 
glected. Numerous addresses were circulated with 
increasing industry, many of which, filled with re- 
publican sentiments, and of a violent revolution- 
ary tendency, emanated from other sources than 
from the founders of the great national association. 
Paine's Bights of Man and his Age of Reason were 
distributed gratuitously, and the press was active in 



the multiplication of inflammatory speeches and 
republican songs. The harp seemed, indeed, to 
be rest rung, and to mingle with its own spirit- 
stirring sounds such airs as were re-echoed from 
the armed legions of France to the chant of Ca ira 
and the Marscillois hymn. The spirit of the union 
passed through every class of society, lighting on 
the bench and the pulpit — on the desk and the 
anvil — shooting like an electric shock through whole 
ranks of the militia — animating the breasts of wo- 
men with heroic daring, and infusing courage into 
the hearts, and vigor into the arms, even of boys 
and children.] 

Amid these exciting scenes Mr. Rowan was not 
an idle nor unconcerned spectator. I had been 
elected,' 1 says he, " major of the Independent Dub- 
lin Volunteers, of whom Mr. Grattan was colonel. 
I also became a member of the Whig club, and re- 
ceived the freedom of the Commons, with addresses 
from several of the Dublin corporations. 1 "* He also 
joined the society of United Irishmen heart and 
hand, " and thus, 11 he continues, " circumstances led 
to an acquaintance with the popular leaders in Ire- 
land, and transmitted the name of an insignificant 
individual to posterity." 

[The test of the United Irishmen was so plausi- 

* Several of these addresses, still extant, are" filled with the 
warmest expressions of praise and admiration of his philanthropic 
virtues — Ed. 



ble, and its expressed object so constitutional and 
legitimate, that we cannot wonder that it should be 
taken with avidity by numbers of all classes, espe- 
cially when recommended by men of talent and 
distinction. Bat when public feeling has received a 
strong impulse in any direction it is impossible to 
fix its limits. Other objects beside " an adequate 
representation of the Irish nation in parliament,'" 
soon began to be contemplated. Nothing less than 
separation from England would satisfy some of the 
leaders, who thought this might be accomplished 
by the assistance of France ; and that Ireland 
might be erected into an independent republic. 
Accordingly, negotiations were commenced with 
the French directory, and in 1791 and 1792, if 
Musgrave may be credited, " Rabaud de St. Eti- 
enne,* the bosom friend of Brissot, the famous 
leader of the Girondine party in the French 
national assembly, passed some time between Dub- 
lin and Belfast, sowing the seeds of future com- 
bustion. " 

* " One of the most able and virtuous founders of the French 
Republic, and, before the revolution, a Protestant minister at 
Nismes in Languedoc. He exceeded all his colleagues in the 
constituent assembly in activity and enthusiasm. He was ridi- 
culed by Burke for his declaration that (i all the ancient establish- 
ments were a nuisance ; and in respect to the people, ive ought, said 
he, to renew their minds, to change their ideas, their laivs, their 
manners ; to change men, things, ivords ; in fine, to destroy every- 
thing, that we may create every thing anew." The revolutionary 
tribunal of Paris, acting on the latter suggestion, had him guillo- 
tined on the 7th of December, 1793, in the 50th year of his age." 
«— -Biographical Anecdotes of the Founders of the French Republic, 



It is stated in the memoir, that ;i an oner was 
about this time sent from the French convention, 
directed " To the popular leaders in Ireland," that 
they would deposit in any bank in Europe the pay 
for 40,000 men for six months, (they being informed 
such was the number of the Irish volunteers, whose 
delegates had assembled at the Rotunda,) on the 
condition that they would declare an absolute 
independence of England. But this offer, we were 
convinced, was founded on a supposition that was 
incorrect as to the opinions of that body, and it was 

Though the Dublin volunteers obeyed the com- 
mand of government, in refraining from any such 
public exhibition as was prohibited, they did not 
desist from meetings of a less ostentatious nature. 
On the 16th of December, 1792, they were sum- 
moned to assemble at the house of Pardon, a fenc- 
ing-master, in Cope-street, and thither they went 
in uniform, with their side-arms, and entered into 
resolutions relative to the proclamation. In the 
middle of the room was a table covered with papers, 
which Rowan and Xapper Tandy were accused of 
distributing among their volunteer companions. 
These papers contained the celebrated Address, ex- 
horting the " citizen soldiers'' to arms. For the 
dispersion of this address, which was pronounced to 
be a " false, wicked, malicious, scandalous, and 
seditious libel of and concerning the government, 
state, and constitution of this kingdom," an infor- 



mation was filed by his Majesty's attorney-general 
ex officio, against A. H. Rowan, Esq. 

About the same time, the solicitor-general, 
Toler, afterwards Lord Norbury, of punning noto- 
riety, spoke in the house of Commons in terms so 
offensive of Tandy, that the latter demanded 
satisfaction for his insulted honor. Toler com- 
plained to the house of breach of privilege, and 
Tandy was ordered into custody. Accordingly he 
was arrested, but he contrived to escape, and a 
proclamation was issued, offering a reward for his 

It appears from the Life of Theobald Wolfe Tone, 
that Mr. Rowan had proposed and Tone agreed 
always to oppose a bold front to their assailants, and 
" that if any disrespectful language were applied to 
either of them in any debate that might arise in 
the House of Commons, (or elsewhere,) they would 
attack the person, whoever he might be, immediately, 
and oblige him either to recant his words or give 
battle." On the occasion of Tandy's arrest, as they 
were not sure but they might be attacked, they 
went to the gallery of the House of Commons, and 
" took pains to appear in a conspicuous situation in 
their whig-club uniforms, which were rather gaudy, 
in order to signify to all whom it might concern, that 
there they were." Though Tandy found it prudent 
to abscond, he did not relinquish the wish to call 
Toler to account. Accordingly he wrote a letter 
to him, stating that he now stood out against the 



proclamation, solely for the purpose of obtaining a 
personal interview with him, and inclosing the copy 
of an intended publication, in which he appealed to 
the tribunal of an impartial public, whether it is 
consistent with the character of a gentleman or man 
of honor, to attack another where he has no oppor- 
tunity of defending himself, and declared such a 
transaction to be base and cowardly. 

As in all affairs of honor Rowan was regarded as 
a chevalier 4 * without fear and without reproach," 
Tandy sent him the following request : — 

" My dear Rowan, 

" This morning I wrote to the 
solicitor for a personal interview, at any place he should 
appoint, in any county where the sheriff is confessedly 
independent, or in Wales, where I confess / would rather 
go. I mentioned likewise that I should await his answer 
until Sunday next, to be left at 20, Chancery -lane, and 
then I would meet him in twelve hours after ; or go to 
the Head (Holyhead). I farther said, for fear of any 
mistake, that I had left a note with a friend in Dublin, to 
be delivered to my son as soon as his answer is left, in 
order that time and place may be appointed. That friend, 
my dear Rowan, is yourself, whom I must request to call 
upon James, and desire him, the moment that the letter 
is received, to send it to you ; you are to open it, and 
setde every matter. Dowling will tell you where I am to 
be found, and I shall be ready on a moment's warning. 
But, if possible, let us go to the Head ; that is, provided 
we can do it safely ; for I do not think a man would have 
any chance in this kingdom, unless in Kildare. You 
know the Sheriff, and, of course, whether it would be 



right or not. In fact, my dear friend, I leave every 
thing to you. James can fumish us with a case of good 

" Ever yours, 


" Feb. 29, 1792." 

" Mrs. T. must not know where I am. 

u This moment I hear that you and Tone have been 
ordered to the bar. If in custody, let James apply to 
Lord Mountgarret, and request that he will act as my 
friend. The point of privilege is now out of the question ; 
it is a dispute between man and man." 

Here, however, he was mistaken. Toler found 
satisfaction behind the buckler of " privilege and 
as to Tandy, whether he found any satisfactions in 
concealment, the muse of history condescendeth not 
to tell. But before the year had rolled away, Mr. 
Rowan was invited to a similar entertainment, 
which actually took place at " the Head," between 
Messrs. Burrowes and Howling. 

A dispute had arisen in the theatre, and Mr. 
Dowling, in reply to some threat of Mr. Burrowes*, 
made use of certain offensive expressions, for which 
the latter demanded, and the former consented to 
give satisfaction. While arrangements were in 
progress for the meeting, Mr. Burrowes was laid 
under arrest, and bound to keep the peace. As the 
securities extended no farther than the county of 
Dublin, it was thought at first that the affair might 


be settled in the county of Kildare ; but it was 
afterwards agreed that the parties should proceed 
to Holyhead. Accordingly Mr. Rowan with Dow- 
ling went on board the packet, where they remained 
during the night in such a storm, that neither the 
mail, nor Mr. Burrowes with his friend Colonel 
Cradock, could embark till the next day. It was 
agreed that, to prevent interruption, the hostile 
meeting should take place as soon as possible after 
their landing. " On Colonel Cradock\s asking me," 
says Mr. Rowan, " how I thought the meeting 
should be arranged, I replied, that ' as we had at- 
tended Mr. Burrowes' summons, I was certain that 
any thing proposed by Colonel Cradock would be 
assented to on the part of Mr. Dowling.' Colonel 
Cradock said, 4 Do you approve of twelve paces as 
the distance V I said, I did entirely. He then 
asked as to the mode of firing. I answered, that 
as Mr. B. was the offended person, probably he 
would demand the first fire ; but on Colonel C.'s 
proposing that they should fire together, I said I 
perfectly agreed with him ; that I felt it our duty 
to do every thing which depended on us to prevent 
mischief and preserve honour ; and that I hoped 
this was not a matter of that grave nature of injury 
which demanded exemplary atonement. It was 
then agreed that they should fire at the word of 
command, to be given by one of us, and decided by 
a toss. Some time after, Colonel C. proposed that 
Mr. D. should throw a glove or some such thing 
toward Mr. B. which I objected to, as in case of an 



unfortunate issue, this might render the prosecu- 
tion of Mr. D. more heavy, should he appear to he 
the person who assaulted. As to prosecutions, 
however, we agreed not to lend ourselves to either 

Havino- landed about midnight, Colonel 0. and 
I walked on beyond the inn, and fixed upon a spot 
which appeared suitable. We met in the morning 
in the parlour of the inn, loaded, and proceeded to 
the ground. Colonel C. hid a guinea ; I won the 
toss, by which I was to give the word ; and then 
observed to him, that as it had been sometimes in- 
timated that the word was given when the friend 
had levelled, I proposed, if he saw no objection, to 
turn my back to the parties, and in that position 
to give the word. Colonel C. assented. We stepped 
into the field, stuck our respective canes in the 
ground, placed our friends, gave each of them a 
pistol, and retiring, I gave the word as I had pro- 
posed. We advanced to give the second pistols, 
when Colonel C. said, 4 As the gentlemen have 
now behaved with that spirit which marks men of 
honour, I think Mr. D. can have no objection to 
make Mr. B. an apology for the very strong expres- 
sions he had made use of.' I answered that if Mr. 
B. was prepared to apologise for the words which 
had drawn those strong expressions from Mr. D. I 
would advise my friend to retract them ; otherwise, 
I would not, however disagreeable it might be to my 
feelings to prevent an accommodation. Colonel C. 
then said, 4 I think there is no alternative : they 



must go on.' I said, ' I feared so,' and we gave 
the second pistols to each of the gentlemen ; and in 
retiring, Colonel C. desired leave to give the word. 
I answered, ' By all means which he did with his 
face averted, and the second pistols were discharged. 
Then Colonel C, addressing himself to me, said, 
" Sir, I think it a duty incumbent on us to prevent 
this matter from going any farther, by withdraw- 
ing our friends from the ground.' I replied, that 
1 I was perfectly of his opinion. ' Each of us, with 
his friend, then quitted the ground, without any sort 
of communication having taken place between the 
principals during the whole of the transaction."' 5 

This duel was followed, in the month of October, 
by an interview which Mr. Kowan had with the 
Earl of Clare, then Lord Fitzgibbon, on behalf of 
the Honorable Simon Butler, of which the Memoir 
contains the following account : — He and Oliver 
Bond, an eminent merchant, as chairman and se- 
cretary to the United Irish society, had signed a 
paper, for which they were called before the House 
of Lords, were voted to have been guilty of a breach 
of privilege of that House, and were ordered to 
pay a fine of £500, and to be imprisoned six 
months in Newgate. 

In delivering the sentence of the Lords,, Lord 
Fitzgibbon, addressing Mr. Butler, said that he 
could not plead ignorance, that his noble birth and 
professional rank at the bar, to both of which he 
was a disgrace, had aggravated his crime. Mr. 
Butler was not of a temper to bear insult ; he de- 




termined to call on Lord Fitzgibbon for an apology 
as soon as lie should be liberated. Mr. Sheares was 
to be his friend on the occasion ; but he was in the 
country at that time. The business was such as 
could not be delayed, and Mr. Butler applied to me, 
to act in Mr. Sheares 1 place. In consequence I 
wrote to his Lordship, requesting an appointment 
to wait on him on behalf of my friend Mr. Butler, 
and his Lordship appointed the next day. When 
I waited on him, I called to his recollection the ex- 
pressions he had made use of in passing the sen- 
tence of the House of Lords on my friends Messrs. 
Butler and Bond ; and those which he had parti- 
cularly directed to Mr. Butler, which I hoped to 
be permitted to say it was not his Lordship's inten- 
tion should be taken personally, and had been made 
use of unreflectingly. Lord Fitzgibbon said, tha the 
thought the circumstances of the case called for the 
expressions he had used, that he never spoke unre- 
flectingly in that situation, and under similar cir- 
cumstances he would again use similar words. I 
then said, that in mine and Mr. Butler's opinion 
the sentence of the Lords did not authorise the 
words he had made use of, and that if it had oc- 
curred between two private gentlemen, my conduct 
would be plain and easy ; but his Lordship's situa- 
tion of Chancellor embarrassed me. Here I paused. 
After some further conversation his Lordship said 
I knew his situation, and he wished me to recollect 
it. I then took my leave, saying his Lordship's 
situation prevented my acting as I must have done 



with a private gentleman. Immediately I wrote a 
note of this conversation, which I gave to Mr. 
Butler, who thought it necessary for his character 
to publish it. I requested him to delay the publi- 
cation until I should have submitted to Lord Fitz- 
gibbon a copy of the report of the conversation 
with him. and had given him to understand it was 
Mr. Butler's intentiou to publish it in the news- 
papers. Lord Fitzoibbon returned the copy to me 
the same day. thanking me for the communication, 
adding, that it was not for him to advice Mr. 
Butler." The next morning I received a visit from 
a very old friend, Colonel Murray, who accosted 
me with, '* So a pretty piece of work you have 
made, Hamilton, taking a challenge to the Chancel- 
lor." " How the deuce do you know that C u Why 
to cut the matter short, I breakfasted this morning 
with Fitzgibbon, and he told me the whole affair."' 
To this old friend I had said, that I regretted my 
having come to Ireland when I found party ran so 
high, and I intended, as soon as the present prose- 
cution was over, to return to England ; my friend 
told me that he had repeated this to Lord Fitz_ 
gibbon, who, he said, had commissioned him to tell 
me, that if I would promise to go to England and 
remain there for a few years, he would issue a ml. 
pros, on the present prosecution. To this I readily 
assented, on condition that it should be issued im- 
mediately. My reason for making this stipulation, 
was, that it had been reported some short time pre- 
vious (when on my mother's death I had been obliged 




to go to England to arrange her property in that 
country,) that I as well as Napper Tandy had fled 
from the prosecution commenced against us. This 
compromise was, however, finally put an end to, by 
its being required that I should strike my name out 
of the United Irishmen's society ; a measure to 
which I could not consent. 

[From being second Mr. Rowan was next to be- 
come principal in an affair very similar to that of 
Tandy and Toler. His well known courage and 
determination guarded him at home from all such 
allusions to his conduct as might be construed into 
an offence ; but his name was treated with less 
respect abroad by some who were strangers to his 
character. " A correspondence,'" says he, " had 
taken place in 1792, between me and Mr. Muir, a 
Scots advocate, who had taken a very leading part 
on the subject of reform in that country, and 
who had been prosecuted by the Lord Advocate 
under the Scottish leasing act. He had been in 
France, and on his return home, had called on 
me in Dublin. The national convention was to 
assemble shortly in Edinburgh, and our corres- 
pondence became more frequent. Though the go- 
vernment seized his papers and person, in their 
seizure only one letter from me was found and 
produced on his trial. The Lord Advocate de- 
scribed it as having been written by a most fero- 
cious person, and said it was sealed with the em- 


blem of a human heart transfixed by a spear,* and 
that the United Irishmen's address was composed 
by one of those wretches who had fled from the 
justice of their country. The seal was the cap of 
liberty on a pole supported by two hands, that of 
the Protestant and Catholic united in the grasp of 
friendship. Mr. Muir, on his trial,-)- indignantly 
repelled the Lord Advocate's assertion. " The 
gentlemen," said he, " whose names are prefixed to 
that address, are both in Ireland, and have honored 
me with their friendship ; the first is Dr. Drennan, 
a physician not more distinguished by his genius 

* Among the emblems used in a procession of the French re- 
volutionists was a bull's heart transfixed with iron, bearing this 
epigraph " Cveur d' Aristocrate." The Lord Advocate may have 
imagined the seal to be similarly emblematic. At this period the 
popular discontents in North Britain were not less than in Ire- 
land ; and enmity or fear in the peculiar circumstances of the 
Lord Advocate might naturally lead to such a mistake. The 
Dundas family had become so exceedingly obnoxious, that Secre- 
tary Dundas had been hanged and burned in effigy near St. 
George's-square in Edinburgh. An infuriated mob had smashed 
the windows of Ms son-in-law's (the Lord Advocate's) residence, 
and were prevented from demohshing it and the house of Mrs. 
Dundas, the Secretary's mother, only by the musquetry of an 
armed force. See Plowden's Short History of the British Em- 
pire, from May, 1792, to the close of the year 1793: Dublin, 
1794, pp. 64, 66, 

f " Muir's trial took place on the 30th August, 1793. It ex- 
cited a strong feeling in Scotland, and, as soon as the result was 
known, the greatest indignation in England. It was then Eng- 
lishmen began to congratulate themselves that they "were not 
Scots, and that in England a jury was not another name for 
an instrument of oppression and injustice." Tait's Magazine 
for January, 1837. 




and abilities than by his philanthropy and benevo- 
lence ; the other gentleman, A. H. Rowan, Esq. 
is no less eminent for his excellent qualities ; he, it 
is true, is indicted to stand a trial, but he has not 
■fled!''' Mr. Rowan, not contented with this justifi- 
cation, wrote to the Lord Advocate, requesting to 
know if he had used those obnoxious expressions, 
and had applied them to him. A second letter was 
written to the same effect, and no answer having 
been received to either, on the evening of the 31 st 
of October, 1793, Mr. Rowan, accompanied by the 
Hon. Simon Butler, set out from Dublin, by way of 
Donaghadee and Portpatrick, to Edinburgh, and, af- 
ter a most tempestuous passage in a small sloop, with 
three horses on board, arrived there at one o'clock in 
the afternoon of November 4th. Immediately after 
their arrival at the hotel, Mr. Butler addressed a note 
to the Lord Advocate informing him that he had a 
letter to deliver to him from A. H. Rowan, Esq. 
and requesting to know when he might have the 
honour of waiting on him. On the dispatch of this 
letter they went to the Tolbooth to visit Mr. Muir, 
leaving directions with the servant to follow them 
with the answer. In about half an hour after their 
arrival at the Tolbooth, Rowan was arrested in 
Muir's chamber, by a messenger-at-arms, under 
warrant from the sheriff ; and on leaving the Tol- 
booth, in order to attend the sheriff at his office, 
they were met by a servant, who delivered to Mr. 
Butler a letter from the Lord Advocate, stating that 
he would be disengaged on the following day at 



one o'clock, and ready to receive the promised letter. 
Mr. Rowan having gone to the sheriff's office, and 
waited there a considerable length of time, was in- 
formed that the examinations were not prepared, 
and he was required to attend there at seven o'clock 
in the evening of that day, and in the interim to 
remain in the custody of the messenger-at-arms, 
with liberty in other respects of disposing of him- 
self as he might think proper. On the return of 
Mr. Butler and Mr. Rowan from the sheriff's office 
to the hotel, a second letter from the Lord Advocate 
was delivered to Mr. Butler by the waiter, of which, 
the fallowing is a copy : 

<; George s-square, 4th Xov. Half-past Three. 

'< Sir, 

** I have just now learned that a warrant 
has been issued against the person who accompanied you. 
It is necessary for me to state to you, that the information 
of your or his being here, comes neither directly nor in- 
directly from me ; and your being in this place, which 
was all I knew, should have remained perfectly secret and 
confidential on my part till our meeting to-morrow at one. 

I remain, 6cc. 

" R. DUXDAS." 

" The Hon. Simon Butler:' 

At seven o'clock in the evening of that day, 
Mr. H. Rowan attended the sheriff at his office, 
and after undergoing a secret examination of some 
length, he was discharged from the custody of 
the messenger-at-arms. upon Colonel Norman 



M'Cleod, a member of parliament, and a gentleman 
of large property and extensive connections, becom- 
ing bound in the sum of 3,000 marks scots, about 
£165 sterling, for his appearance upon summons 
to answer any charge which might be adduced 
against him within six months on that subject. 
To the gentleman who stood his friend on this 
occasion Mr. Rowan was previously known as a 
fellow-labourer in the cause of reform. This is 
apparent from the following letter 

" to norman m'cleod, esq. 

" Sir, 

" Having a sincere respect for your 
public character, and emulating your conduct in attempt- 
ing to restore the constitution of these kingdoms to its 
ancient purity, and being assured by Mr. Muir, who 
honoured me with a visit on his road to Scotland, that 
such a communication of my sentiments would be re- 
ceived by you as it was meant, I was induced to address 
a letter to you, which I committed to the care of Mr. 
Muir. I find, on perusing his trial, that that letter has been 
seized upon, and I think it my duty to acquaint you with 
the name of the writer and the contents of the letter. I 
have further to observe on the seal, that what are called 
Heursde lis are shamrocks, and that it was engraven some 
time back as emblematic of the then situation of this 
country ; the Catholic and Protestant hand were supposed 
to be united in support of the universal emancipation of 
Irishmen of every religious persuasion. 

" I am, &c. 

" A. H. R." 

" October, 11, 1793." 



At one o'clock in the afternoon of the 5th of 
November, 1793, Mr. Butler waited on the Lord 
Advocate, and after apologizing for having mistaken 
his Lordship's address, put his hand in his pocket 
for the letter which he was commissioned to de- 
liver ; but while he was in that act, his Lordship 
said, that before any letter was delivered, he would 
inform him that he had some days before written a 
letter to Mr. H. Rowan, which he presumed had 
not been received ; and after some mutual explana- 
tions, which it would be superfluous to repeat, he 
gave Mr. Butler the following answer to Mr. 
Rowan's first letter : — 

" Edinburgh, Nov. bth, 1793. 

" Sir, 

" I wrote some days ago to you in Dublin 
a letter* which I presume you have not received, and of 
which the following is an exact copy : — 

" ' I have received your first and second letters, and I 
have only to inform you that I do not hold myself ac- 
countable to you or to any person for any observations 
which in the course of my official duly I felt it proper for 
me to make with respect to the publication alluded to by 
you. I have only to add, that my opinion on this sub- 
ject remains perfectly the same. 

" ' I am, Sir, &c. 

" < R. DUNBAS.' M 

* That letter arrived in Dublin on the 7th of November. 



The Lord Advocate having thus declared that 
he did not hold himself accountable, and the danger 
of enforcing a contrary opinion in Edinburgh being 
obvious, Mr. H. Rowan addressed another letter to 
the Lord Advocate, of which the following is a 
copy :— . 

" Dumbrectis Hotel, Edinburgh, 
" Nov. 5, 1793. 

« My Lord, 

" You are right in your presumption 
that I have not received the letter which you inform me 
you wrote to me some days ago. My second letter bore 
date the 18th October, and I left Dublin on the evening 
of the 31st. 

" I have now received a copy of that letter from you, 
by the hands of Mr. Butler, which I do not conceive to 
be any answer to mine ; but the extraordinary circum- 
stances which have attended my arrival in this kingdom 
prevent my being more explicit. 

» I am, &c." 

In the evening of the 8th November, Mr. Butler 
and Mr. H. Rowan left Edinburgh on their return 
to Dublin. "As soon as their arrival in Belfast was 
known, a select party waited on them, and en- 
treated the favour of their company to dinner next 
day ; with which request they obligingly complied. 
Accordingly they, together with Grawin Hamilton, 
Esq. of Killileagh, were yesterday elegantly enter- 
tained at dinner, and the evening spent with that 
conviviality and heartfelt pleasure which the pa- 



triotic and the virtuous alone experience." Mr. 
Rowan's health was drank in connexion with this 
sentiment : ** May the friends of liberty ever be 
found virtuous and brave." — History of Belfast. 

Mr. Rowan was by no means satisfied with the 
Lord Advocate's defence, and he vented his indig- 
nation by writing to him in a style calculated to 
provoke the fiercest hostility. At the same time 
he had the following notice published in the London 
and Edinburgh newspapers : — 

u The Lord Advocate of Scotland (R. Dundas) 
having asserted on the trial of Thomas Muir, that 
an address from the United Irishmen of Dublin 
to the Delegates for Reform in Scotland, to which 
my name was affixed as secretary. 1 WM penned by 
infamous wretches, who. like himself, had fled from 
the punishment that awaited them f and all ex- 
planation having been avoided under the pretext of 
official duty, I find it now necessay to declare that 
such assertion of the Lord Advocate is a falsehood. 

« A. H. ROWAN." 
"DulUn, Dominicl'-tfreet, Bee. 16, 1793." 

Mr. Rowan's conduct in the whole of this afiair, 
must tend strongly to convince the reader of his 
total unconsciousness of hem* implicated at this 
time in any transaction, which would soon oblige 
him to give too much occasion for a repetition of 
the Lord Advocate's charge. Colonel M'Cleod, it 
eeems, had remonstrated with Rowan on the ini- 
i 3 



policy, not to say guilt, of duelling ; and in reply 
to a note of thanks for his friendship, again re- 
curred to the subject, as will be seen in the follow- 
ing sensible and judicious letter. 

" Edinburgh, Nov. 7, 1793. 

" Sir, 

" I was favoured with your note a few minutes 
ago, and have since been reading the papers enclosed. 
Be assured I am happy in having had an opportunity of 
rendering you the little service you mention, because it 
was due to you on the principles of liberty and the com- 
mon rights of hospitality. I am extremely sorry that 
party spirit runs so high here at present as to overleap 
the bounds of decency so much as it did in your arrest ; 
but if I can claim any right to your attention, I beg you 
to weigh what I took the liberty of saying to you of the 
idea of appealing to the principles of private honour in 
public transactions. I am sure you wish to serve the 
public cause of liberty, and give me leave to repeat that a 
duel, or challenge to a duel, never will be useful to it in 
Great Britain. This is my sincere opinion ; and as such 
I hope you will receive it kindly from, 

" Sir, &c. 


" I heartily wish you and Mr. Butler a pleasant jour- 
ney to Dublin." 

*' A. H. Roican, Esq" 

To this letter Mr. Eowan answered that he was 
sensible of the kindness of the advice ; 4 i but," says 



lie, " as my determination was formed upon reflec- 
tion, I will steadily adhere to it." A " determina- 
tion" which speaks more for his courage than for* 
his wisdom and discretion. 

During his short sojourn in Scotland he received 
various marks of polite and friendly attention from 
William Moffat, Esq. and some others of the most 
eminent Scottish reformists and "political mar- 
tyrs" as they have been denominated in Taifs 
Magazine for Jan. 1837. These were " Thomas 
Muir, William Skirving, Thomas Fysche Palmer, 
Joseph Gerald, and Maurice Margarot.? The pe- 
riodical just mentioned speaks of the page which 
records their fate as the " blackest in the recent 
annals of the criminal court of Scotland." 

The fate of none of these gentlemen was less 
merited nor more to be deplored than that of 
Palmer, the early friend and fellow-student of 
Rowan. " For the alleged crime of circulating a 
handbill or address, known to have been written by 
another person, and in which we can see no harm 
whoever had written it, he was sentenced to trans- 
portation for seven years. Mr. Palmer was an 
Englishman, and the pastor of a small Unitarian 
congregation in Dundee, where we have heard that 
at the same time he seemed rather misplaced. 
Probably Mr. P. did not feel it so. He was a 
gentleman and a scholar, refined in mind and 
polished in manners ; but he was also a sincere 
lover of his race, and a true friend of the people " 
" After his condemnation, Whitbread, in parlia- 



ment, said of him, £ that he had the honour, (for 
an honour in the truest sense of the word he deemed 
it,) to be acquainted with Mr. Palmer and he 
paid him many high compliments for understand- 
ing* and virtue. A most romantic circumstance 
attended the banishment of this innocent man. A 
member of his church, named Ellis, as soon as he 
heard this iniquitous sentence pronounced, formed 
the resolution of sharing Palmer's exile ; and he 
actually accompanied him to New South Wales 
and shared with him the period of his banishment. 
* * * * When a high motive is presented, the 
Gothic or the Christian world will never fail of 
counterparts to the Damon and Pythias of classic 
ages. Mr. Palmer died of a fever at some of the 
islands of the Indian seas, upon his way home.'" — 

Of this excellent man, this " political martyr," 
the reader may see an interesting account in the 
Belfast Magazine for December, 1812. On the 
envelope of one of his letters to Mr. Eowan, the 
latter has inscribed the following testimony to his 
worth : — " We were fellow-collegians at Queen's 
College, and never was there a more regular, stu- 
dious, and every way good man. — A. H. R." 

The subjoined letter from his friend and cor- 
respondent, John Venner, counsellor at law, was 
addressed to Mr, Rowan, while he was in Scot- 
land : — i 



<• London, Xov. 4th, 1793. 

M Dear Hamilton, 

" This is at least the tenth letter 
which I have begun to write, and have not had the cour- 
age to send you. I ran too much into politics. 

" Although therefore you have not heard from me, you 
have seldom been out of my thoughts ; which is indeed 
not to be wondered at, when the very polite behaviour 
I experienced from you is so fresh in my memory ; by- 
the-bye, this is not above half the acknowledgment I 
should make ; for you so joined the utile with the dulce, 
that I know not whether I was most benefited or de- 

n You are a perfect Quixote in politics, or you would 
not have ventured into Scotland. 

" For promptitude in trial and determination in punish- 
ment, I will back the convention with an aristocrat, and 
the court of sessions with a democrat, against all the 
courts which ever were, are, or shall be. 

* The'stef pro ratione voluntas is carried to a tolera- 
ble pitch. I shall put this letter into the fire, not into the 
post, for I am certain it will be opened. 

u I have taken it into my head that Mr. Muir's sen- 
tence is not correct — I mean legally so ; for every body 
knows it is not morally so ! The municipal law of Scot- 
land by the act of union is to remain unaltered. 

u Scotland ccull never transport, for she never had 
any colonial dominion. Besides, she follows the civil 
law, and the sentence is banishing from, not transporting 
to ! Now the sentence of the English law of transpor- 
tation f to such place as his Majesty, with the advice of 
his privy coimcil, shall direct,' is passed by virtue of a 
very late act of Parliament, and cannot reach Scotland. 



Upon what ground, therefore, the sentence stands I can- 
not make out. Yet I have no doubt but that I am 
wrong; for it is absurd to suppose so many lawyers (Mr. 
Muir himself being one likewise,) should not have men- 
tioned it on the trial. My dear Hamilton, I had pur- 
posed not to have written a word of politics, and my letter 
has nothing else. Let me have the pleasure of hearing 
from you. Mrs. Vernier and myself beg our best respects 
to Mrs. Hamilton, though unknown to ns. We hope all 
your young ones are in perfect health. As to yourself, 
we should hear of it, if you were otherwise. 

" Adieu. 






"Warrant from Judge Downes — Gives bail — Employs Curran for 
his defence — Two informations against him — Attends the King's 
Bench — Trial deferred — Suspicion of a packed jury — Soldiers 
sent to his house as spies — Attempt to bribe Corbally to give 
false witness — Brought to trial — Curran's celebrated speech — 
Eound guilty, fined, and imprisoned — Request to the Attor- 
ney-General — Anecdote of Kir wan the philosopher — Rowan's 
situation in prison — Consolatory addresses — Conversation be- 
tween Lord Clonmel and Byrne the printer. 

In 1792, I had been arrested by a warrant from 
Jud^e Downes, on a charge of distributing a sedi- 
tious paper, and crediting his Lordship's assurance 
that the examinations upon which the warrant was 
granted should be returned to the clerk of the 
crown, to be laid by him before the next term grand 
jury, I followed the advice of my law friends, and 
instead of going to gaol, in pursuance of my own 
opinion, I gave bail for my appearance in the 
King's Bench, to answer such charges as should be 
there made against me. I had at first declared 
my wish to employ no other counsel to defend me 
than those who belonged to the society of United 
Irishmen ; but Messrs. Emmett and Butler both 
declined the task, as they said it might look like 
arrogance in junior counsellors, to conduct so great 



a cause as that which would probably ensue. The 
known unbending patriotism of Mr. Fletcher, who 
(though afterwards raised to the bench,) always 
declared the necessity of the registry reform, 
pointed him out to me as one under whose guidance 
I should wish to place myself; but this sugges- 
tion was again over-ruled by the entreaty of Mrs. 
Hamilton Rowan and of almost all my friends, that 
I should employ Mr. Curran. His high character, 
which never deserted him as a friend to the people, 
occasioned my asking whether he would employ his 
talent rather in defence of the paper for the distri- 
bution of which I was prosecuted, than on any 
minor object. Having answered in the affirmative, 
he became my leading counsel. 

During the succeding Hilary term I daily at- 
tended in the King's Bench. On the last day 
of that term, finding that no examinations had 
been laid before the grand jury against me, coun- 
sel on my behalf moved that the examinations 
should be returned forthwith, particularly as Mr. 
Attorney General had in the course of the term 
filed two informations ex officio against me, the 
one for the same alleged offence of distributing a 
seditious paper, and the other for a seditious 
conspiracy. Mr. Justice Downes, who was then 
on the bench, asserted that he had on the first day 
of term returned the examinations to the clerk of 
the crown, who said, that from the multiplicity of 
examinations returned to him on the first day of 
term, he had not time to look at them, and re- 


quested the court would make no order. My 
hopes of a speedy trial were therefore at an end. 

My mother shortly afterwards died, and I was 
obliged to go to England on private business, which 
required me to stay there some time. During my 
absence from Ireland, every runner in office, sup- 
ported by the newspapers in the pay of govern- 
ment, connected the name of Hamilton Rowan 
with that of Napper Tandy, and proclaimed both 
as dishonoured f ugitives from justice. 

A few days before the Easter term, I returned 
to Ireland, and daily attended the King's Bench, 
until the term was nearly spent ; and finding that 
no bills were sent up by the grand jury against 
me, counsel on my behalf moved the court that 
the recognizance entered into by me, and my 
bail, should be vacated ; at the same time pub- 
licly declaring that if the motion was not agreed 
to, I was then in court for the purpose of sur- 
rendering myself in discharge of my bail. The 
recognizance was vacated accordingly. The above 
mentioned examinations having also charged Mr. 
Tandy with a similar offence, his recognizance 
was estreated, and a green wax process ordered 
against his bail. Had I been absent, my recog- 
nizance also would have been estreated ; but on 
my having appeared and declared my readiness 
to meet the charge, the government filed fresh in- 
formations, ex officio, and refused to proceed upon 
the former examinations, and denied to me all 
knowledge of the person by whom they were sworn. 



A motion on my behalf was then made to .fix cer- 
tain days for the trial of the information ex officio 
against me ; the Attorney-General agreed to the 
appointment of two days in the ensuing Trinity 
term, viz. the 3d and 7th days of May. In the 
Easter vacation, the Attorney-General served on 
me a notice that he would not proceed to trial on 
the days appointed, and would apply to the court 
to appoint other days, grounded on an affidavit to 
be filed, of which notice would be given. Nothing 
further was done upon this notice ; no affidavit 
was filed, or motion made therein ; and the process 
necessary for the empanneling of juries on the days 
appointed having been (after being issued) kept by 
Mr. Kemmis, the crown solicitor, instead of being 
delivered to the sheriff, a notice was made on my 
behalf that the necessary process should be forth- 
with delivered to the proper officer, in order that 
the trials might be had on the days appointed. My 
motion was opposed by a phalanx of crown lawyers, 
headed by the Attorney- General, who declared that 
there was no error in the information for distribut- 
ing a seditious paper. I now offered to agree to an 
immediate amendment of the information, or that 
a fresh one should be filed and pleaded to instanter, 
or that I would release all errors. All these offers 
were severally refused, as the object of Govern- 
ment seemed to be to gain time ; and my friends 
strongly suspected that the motive for postpon- 
ing the trial was the expectation of packed juries, 
through the means of the sheriffs for the ensuing 



year, Jenkins and Gifiord, both notoriously under 
the influence, and even in the pay of the govern- 

I must further take notice of some under- 
hand transactions against me. When the idea of 
renewing the volunteer system was embraced by 
several of its zealous friends, certain persons calling 
themselves soldiers, came to my house with offers 
of their assistance, but appearing to be sent as spies 
upon my conduct and expressions, I declined to 
see them, or have any concern with them. One of 
the name of Corbally came to my house, and pro- 
posed to teach my men-servants how to make up 
artillery amunition. This offer having been de- 
clined, there was an attempt to bribe this man to 
lodge examinations of some sort against me ; and 
he having resisted, it was thought that something 
might be forced from him by fear. Accordingly 
he was apprehended on a warrant of high treason, 
and was told by the person who took him, that he 
had but one way to save his life, which was to 
swear against me. He was kept in gaol five 
months under this charge ; and while in confine- 
ment, they attempted to cajole him into the king's 
service. When by law he became entitled to be 
discharged, or have proceedings preferred against 
him, the charge of high treason was withdrawn, 
and an indictment found against him for a misde- 
meanor, to which he gave bail, and thereupon ob- 
tained his liberty. One Maguire, a defender, was 
confined with Corbally, to whom I understood 



similar proposals were made, and the following cir- 
cumstance warrants the belief. Corbally lodged 
examinations against Mr. Justice Graham for an 
attempt to make him perjure himself. Mr. Justice 
Graham immediately went to the gaol, saw Ma- 
guire, and accepted his bail, which he had refused 
the day but one before, and neither he nor his bail 
has since been heard of. Graham stood his trial, 
and was acquitted ; and prosecuted Corbally, who 
was tried and sentenced to two years 1 imprison- 
ment. At the time the attempt was made to bribe 
Corbally, the Speaker of the House of Commons 
asserted in company that Mr. Hamilton Rowan 
did not know the risk he ran, for they had evidence 
against him which would touch his life. And a 
noted partizan of administration said in the Four 
Courts, that a discovery was made that a gentle- 
man and a man of some property had distributed 
money among the defenders. This was also the 
charge against Napper Tandy. 

[The trial was waited for with intense interest 
by all Ireland, and more particularly by the nume- 
rous classes of Rowan's friends and associates ; he 
was the hero of the day, and his cause was regard- 
ed as involving that of many others who might be 
found in a similar situation. If a few were eager 
to see him punished as an agitator, the great ma- 
jority hailed him as a patriot, who had boldly come 
forth to restore the constitution and assert the 
liberties of his country. He had, on various occa- 


sions, shewn himself the decided friend of the 
humbler orders, and his exertions in their service 
were remembered to his honour. He was the po- 
pular tribune, the Gracchus who dared to vindicate 
their rights against the insolence and oppression 
of the proud and vindictive patricians. The in- 
terest felt in his behalf was evinced by the multi- 
tudes which overflowed the courts, insomuch that 
a military guard was found necessary to preserve 
the peace, and prevent the outburstings of popular 

At length, continues the Memoir, I was brought 
to trial, Mr. Gilford beinsr the acting sheriff for 
the current six months. On striking the jury, I 
objected to two of them, and offered to bring proof 
that they had declared " Ireland would never be 
quiet until Hamilton Boican and Napp&r Tandy 
were hanged" But this challenge was not allowed 
by the Bench. 

[On this trial Mr. Curran pronounced a speech 
which will for ever associate his name with that of 
Rowan. So splendid an exhibition of eloquence 
had never before been witnessed in an Irish, nor 
perhaps in any other, court of law. While it daz- 
zled and electrified by its brilliant confiscations, it 
drew forth reiterated applauses, which no power of 
self-control or respect for the Bench found it possi- 
ble to suppress ; but it produced no conviction on 
the mind of the jury. That eloquence should 
sometimes fail to produce its intended effect even 



upon twelve honest men, is a circumstance, ab- 
stractedly considered, less to be deplored than ap- 
proved. Right is based not on words but on facts ; 
and should that eloquence which can make " the 
w r orse appear the better reason" prevail over the 
unvarnished simplicity of truth, justice would have 
often to lament her despised and violated claims. 
The speech may be found at length in the trial 
published by Mr. Rowan, and in the volume of the 
celebrated counsellor's speeches. Though it is known 
to every reader of Irish history, it cannot be irre- 
levant to present the reader with one or two spe- 
cimens of its style ; and here the editor fortunately 
finds the same task executed with such taste and 
discrimination in " Curran's Life, by his Son," 
that he has only to make a transcript from a few 
pages of that interesting publication : — 

The opening of it has some striking points of re- 
semblance to the exordium of Cicero's defence of Milo. 
If an imitation was intended by the Irish Advocate, it 
was naturally suggested by the coincidence of the leading 
topics in the two cases, the public interest excited, the 
unusual military array in the court, the great popularity 
of the client, and the factious clamours which prepared 
the trial. * * * When he came to that part of the 
publication under trial, which proposed complete emanci- 
pation to persons of every religious persuasion, he ex- 
pressed himself as follows : — 

"'Do you think it wise or humane, at this moment, to 
insult them (the Catholics) by sticking up in the pillory 
the man who dared to stand forth as their Advocate ? I 


put it to your oaths ; do you think that a blessing of that 
kind, that a victory obtained by justice over bigotry and 
oppression, should have a stigma cast upon it by an igno- 
minious sentence upon men bold and honest enough to 
propose that measure ? to propose the redeeming of reli- 
gion from the abuses of the church, the reclaiming of 
three millions of men from bondage, and giving liberty to 
all who had a right to demand it ? Giving, I say, in the 
so much censured words of this paper, giving ' universal 
emancipation !' I speak in the spirit of British law, which 
makes liberty commensurate with, and inseparable from 
British soil — which proclaims even to the stranger and 
the sojourner, the moment he sets his foot upon British 
earth, that the ground on which he treads is holy, and con- 
secrated by the genius of universal emancipation. 
No matter in what language his doom may have been pro- 
nounced — no matter what complexion incompatible with 
freedom, an Indian or an African sun may have burnt 
upon him — no matter in what disastrous battle his liberty 
may have been cloven down — no matter with what solem - 
nities he may have been devoted upon the altar of slavery 
— the first moment he touches the sacred soil of Britain, 
the altar and the god sink together in the dust ; his soul 
walks abroad in her own majesty, his body swells beyond 
the measure of his chains that burst from aroimd him, 
and he stands redeemed, regenerated, and disenthralled, 
by their resistable genius of universal emancipation.' 

The concluding passage of this speech, of which the 
preceding extract is inserted merely as an example of its 
style, contains one of those fine scriptural allusions, of 
which Mr. Curran made such frequent and successful 
use : — 

" ' I will not relinquish the confidence that this day will 



be the period of his sufferings ; and however mercilessly 
he has been hitherto pursued, that your verdict will send 
him home to the arms of his family and the wishes of his 
country. But if (which Heaven forbid) it hath still been 
unfortunately determined, that, because he has not bent 
to power and authority, because he would not bow down 
before the golden calf and worship it, he is to be bound 
and cast into the furnace ; I do trust in God, that there 
is a redeeming spirit in the constitution which will be seen 
to walk with the sufferer through the flame, and to pre- 
serve him unhurt by the conflagration.' 

If the expression of excited emotions by the auditors 
be the test of eloquence, this was the most eloquent of 
Mr. Cnrran's forensic productions. To applaud in a 
court of justice is at all times irregular, and was then 
very rare ; but both during the delivery, and after the 
conclusion of this speech, the by-standers could not re- 
frain from testifying their admiration by loud and repeated 
bursts of applause. When the advocate retired from the 
court, they took the horses from his carriage, which they 
drew to his own house ; yet notwithstanding this public 
homage to his talents, the most grateful reward to his 
exertions was wanting : the jury, of whose purity very 
general suspicions were entertained, found a verdict 
against his client. 

These quotations might suffice ; yet it cannot be 
superfluous to add the learned advocate's graphic 
description of Rowan's character and conduct, when 
addressing the jury in his behalf : — ■ 

" Gentlemen, let me suggest another observation or 
two, if still you have any doubt as to the guilt or inno- 


cence of the defendant. Give me leave to suggest to you 
what circumstances you ought to consider, in order to 
found your verdict : you should consider the character of 
the person accused ; and in this your task is easy. I 
will venture to say there is not a man in this nation more 
known than the gentleman who is the subject of this pro- 
secution, not only by the part he has taken in public con- 
cerns, and which he has taken in common with many, 
but still more so by that extraordinary sympathy for 
human affliction which, I am sorry to think, he shares 
with so small a number. There is not a day that you 
hear the cries of your starving manufacturers in your 
streets, that you do not also see the advocate of their suf- 
ferings — that you do not see his honest and manly figure, 
with uncovered head, soliciting for their relief; searching 
the frozen heart of charity for every string that can be 
touched by compassion, and urging the force of every 
argument and every motive, save that which his modesty 
suppresses — the authority of his own generous example. 
Or if you see him not there, you may trace his steps to 
the abode of disease, and famine, and despair, the mes- 
senger of heav en, bearing with him food, and medicine, 
and consolation. Are these the materials of which we 
suppose anarchy and public rapine to be formed ? Is this 
the man on whom to fasten the abominable charge of 
goading on a frantic populace to mutiny and bloodshed ? 
Is this the man likely to apostatize from every principle 
that can bind him to the state — his birth, his property, 
his education, his character, and his children ? Let me 
tell you, gentlemen of the jury, if you agree with his pro- 
secutors in thinking there ought to be a sacrifice of such 
a man on such an occasion, and upon the credit of such 
evidence, you are to convict him, — never did you, never 




can you give a sentence consigning any man to public 
punishment with less danger to his person or to his fame : 
for where could the hireling be found, to fling contumely 
or ingratitude at his head, whose private distresses he had 
not laboured to alleviate, or whose public condition he 
had not laboured to improve ?" 

Though the defence was most ably conducted, 
the jury, in the course of ten minutes, brought in 
a verdict of guilty. When it was announced, Lord 
Clonmel asked counsel for the defendant, if they 
44 desired four days time to move an arrest of judg- 
ment." This was declined. But Lord Clonmel, 
after conferring with the other judges, said, 44 We 
'will not pronounce judgment till four days." Mr. 
Rowan was then ordered into custody of the sheriff, 
44 and was conveyed to the New Prison, attended 
by both the sheriffs and a formidable array of horse 
and foot guards.*"* 

Notwithstanding an arrest of judgment was in 
the first instance declined, the Recorder, one of 
Mr. Rowan^s counsel, on the ensuing Monday 
moved the court to set aside the verdict, and grant 
a new trial, pursuant to a notice served on the At- 

* Report of the Trial, p. 87. " When the verdict was first 
brought in, there was a loud clap of approbation commenced in 
the outer hall, it is presumed, from a misconception that the jury- 
had acquitted the defendant ; for when the verdict was repeated, 
and the word guilty sufficiently stressed, the clap was changed 
into hootings, and hissings, and groans, that lasted with little re- 
mission during the remainder of the sitting of the court." 



torney-general, and grounded on certain affidavits 
impeaching the truth of the principal witness, and 
accusing certain members of the jury of being un- 
fairly prejudiced. The cause was argued at consi- 
derable length, and a new trial being found inad- 
missible, Mr. Justice Boyd proceeded to declare 
the sentence of the court. He animadverted in 
strong terms on the dangerous tendency of the 
libel for which Rowan was prosecuted, and parti- 
cularly on its call upon the people to arm. " All, 1 ' 
said he, " are summoned to arms, to introduce a 
wild system of anarchy, such as now involves 
France in the horrors of civil war, and deluges the 
country with blood. It is happy for you and those 
who were to have been your instruments, that they 
did not obey you. It is happy for you that this 
insidious summons to arms was not observed ; if it 
had, and the people with force of arms had at- 
tempted to make alterations in the constitution of 
this country, every man concerned would have 
been guilty of high treason." 

Before sentence was pronounced, Mr. Rowan, at 
his own request, was permitted to speak ; and ac- 
cordingly he addressed the court in language at 
once courteous and dignified. He gratefully ac- 
knowledged the indulgence of his judges, and pro- 
ceeded to make some strictures on the evidence, the 
jury, and the sheriff. He observed that in some 
parts of the evidence, the court and the prosecutor 
seemed to be mistaken, and that had some of his 
friends, volunteers, who were present at the meet- 



ing, been summoned to give their testimony, the 
charge exhibited against him by Lyster would have 
fallen to the ground.* As to the jury, he admitted 
that some of them were very honourable men, yet 
much prejudiced, and his avowed enemies. He 
acknowledged his wish, and his attempt, to revive 
the volunteers, for they had done honour to the 
nation. As to the sheriff, in the capacity of editor 
to a newspaper he had been his constant calum- 
niator ; and now in the office of sheriff, he had 
empannelled a jury, by some of whom he (Rowan) 
had been prejudged. He avows himself to be a 
United Irishman, and glories in the name. He jus- 
tifies the terms universal emancipation and repre- 
sentative legislature, in opposition to a meaning 
imputed to them by the counsel for the prosecution. 
" I did imagine,"" says he, " that the British con- 
stitution was a representative legislature ; that the 
people were represented by the House of Commons ; 
that the Lords represented the territory, the pro- 
perty ; raid that the King represented the power 
of the* state, the united force, the power of the 
whole placed in his hands for the benefit of the 
whole. As a person, as a man, I know nothing of 

* The Editor has been assured by an authority which he can- 
not question, that Mr. Rowan was not the person who distri- 
buted the libelous paper in Pardon's room, though in other places 
he was known to have distributed it without reserve ; but on that 
occasion Willis the skinner, his lieutenant, in the volunteers, was 
the distributor ; and being a tall, able man, was taken for Rowan 
by Lyster the principal witness, a man of no honor or integrity. 


the king ; I can know nothing of him except as 
wielding the force of the nation ; and if ever that 
force should be misapplied and abused, it then re- 
mains for the people to decide in what hands it 
ought to be placed.'"* 

In conclusion he says — " I really feel myself in 
an awkward situation, thus declaring my senti- 
ments, seeing intentions different from those both 
of the author and myself are fixed upon that paper, 
for the distribution of which I am persecuted. 
From my situation, however, having an indepen- 
dent fortune, easy in my circumstances, and with 
a large family, insurrection of any sort would surely 
be the last thing I could wish for. I ask no favour, 
but I submit myself to the clemency and justice of 
the court, and trust that whatever may be their 
sentence, I shall bear it with becoming fortitude. 1 ' 

After some observations from Lord Clonmel, 
judgment was pronounced, as is the practice in, 
Westminster Hall, by the second judge of the 
court, Mr. Justice Boyd : — 44 The sentence of the 
court is — that you, Archibald Hamilton Rowan, 
do pay to his Majesty a sum of five hundred 
pounds, and be imprisoned for two years, to be 
computed from the 29th of January, 1794, and 
until that fine be paid ; and to find security for 
your good behaviour for seven years — yourself in 

* These sentiments arc corroborated in the report of the trial, 
by quotations from Locke on Government, sects. 151, 158, 226, 
and from Beackstone, Public Wrongs, b. 4, c. 33, s. 5. 



the sum of two thousand pounds, and two sureties 
of one thousand pounds each." 

Had it been at Mr. Rowan's option where to 
pass the time of his confinement, he would have 
preferred Naas to Dublin, probably -on account of 
its being nearer to his country residence of Rath- 
coffey. Accordingly he thus made his wishes known 


" Mr. Hamilton Rowan is induced, from the very 
polite manner in which the Attorney -General did him the 
honour of addressing him in court this day, to request 
that he may be imprisoned in the jail of Naas instead of 
that of Newgate, if such a favour can be granted. 

" February 7th, 1794. 
" New Prison." 


" The Attorney-General presents his compliments to 
Mr. Hamilton Rowan ; begs leave to assure him that the 
moment sentence was pronounced, the Attorney-General 
ceased to have any authority in the matter. To vary or 
mitigate that sentence belongs solely to the Lord Lieu- 
tenant, and it is only from his Excellency the indulgence 
which Mr. Rowan desires can be obtained. The Attor- 
ney-General was very sincere when he yesterday informed 
Mr. Rowan that if he had any just cause of complaint 
against any person in whose custody he is, that he would 
use his utmost endeavours to give it immediate redress. 

" Leinster -street, February 8th, 1794." 



The following anecdote has lef- kin ily : 
nicated by one who an intimate friend of Mr. 
Rowan's : — 

The verdict of guilty h; u vinj been :onrldently 
anticipated by some of the more zealous adherents 
of government in high quarters, they betrayed a 
great anxiety that the punishment should be as 
exemplary as possible; and accordingly spoke of 
the pillory. ~ This." says my author, ** came to the 
ears of my excellent friend, the venerate! Mr. 
Kbrwan. the philosopher and chemist, in political 
principle a hi^h conservative aristocrat, and influ- 
enced in all his conduct by sentiments of honour 
and benevolence. Having the autre at the Castle, 
he went to the secretary, and asked if it were pos- 
sible that such a punishment was in contemplation 
for Rowan ; and without waiting for a reply, con- 
tinued — ; I cannot believe it. What ! shew such 
a vindictive spirit as make the pillory a punish- 
ment for a political offence ! Shame ! The pillory 
is a punishment for disgraceful crimes. Rebellion 
may be a crime, but not a disgrace ; nay more, if 
.—mm iful it becomes a virtue. Should you put 
Rowan into the pillory, you would revolt the entire 
order of gentlemen in Europe. I know it is im- 
proper to hold out a threat to government ; but let 
me assure you, the people of Dublin will not allow % 
this ; and weak as I am. I will draw lit .? : ;v/J 
(so he pronounced it,) and head a mob, and break 
your pillory to atoms; and let the blood which 
may be shed be charged to the vindictive spirit of 



those who proposed so infamous a proceeding, 1 
The secretary, not offended with the philosopher's 
generous effervescence, assured him that though 
certain persons had hinted at the punishment to 
which he alluded, it was never for one moment in- 
tended by government ; and that for his own part, 
he would also draw his sword to oppose a measure 
so insulting."] 

The Memoir, after stating the result of the trial, 
says : — - 

The crowds round the court-house were so irri- 
tated, that for fear of mischief, I stole out of 
court by a back door, accompanied by Sheriff 
J enkins, and was by him lodged in prison imme- 
diately on the sentence being pronounced. My 
situation in gaol was not to be complained of, 
though I had indeed a small room, and some of the 
conveniencies particularly necessary in every ha- 
bitation were most execrable. During the day 
visitors were admitted ; my dinner was brought 
from my own house, and Mrs. H. Rowan and two 
of my children constantly accompanied it, except on 
Sunday, when I usually invited some of my fellow- 
prisoners, who were of the better order, to share it 
with me. 

[In anticipation of his sentence, Rowan had ex- 
pressed in what mode he wished to be treated in 
prison. " My desire," says he, "is to be free 
from all visits, except from such of my immediate 



family as choose to come to me, and my lawyers ; 
and I shall esteem any inquiries concerning me 
being made in Dominick-street, as compliments 
which I shall not forget. I do insist, and that in 
the most peremptory tone, that no expence what- 
ever be incurred on my account by any society, or 
body of men, or individual. I desire to be served 
from my own house with sufficient to eat, and 
something for others under the same roof, who may 
be more hungry, and have less means. I will not 
have any wine. I hear the water is bad ; let me 
have Bristol water and good beer at my meals. * * 
Let all who persecute, dread the force of truth and 
virtue, the parents of liberty.""] 

During this time I received several condoling 
addresses on my imprisonment, and letters stating 
the infamous characters of those on whose evidence 
I had been convicted. 

[If aught could have consoled Eowan for the loss 
of his personal freedom, and the " durance vile" of 
a gaol, it was the deep and universal sympathy of 
his friends. They thought his sentence severe ; 
and were persuaded that the witnesses had been, 
suborned. These circumstances added to his popu- 
larity : and addresses of condolence poured in upon 
him from all quarters, from public societies, and 
private individuals, at home and abroad. A col- 
lection of these would fill a volume ; but it may 
suffice to present the reader with that of the United 
Irishmen, and that of the working manufacturers, 
with the reply to each. 




" February 7th, 1794. 

" We offer ycu our congratulations, the only testimo- 
nial of our regard which could be acceptable to you. We 
disdain to address a mind like yours in the language of 
pity and condolence. Although torn from what consti- 
tuted the chief felicity of your being, the society of an 
amiable exemplary wife, and the superintendance of a 
numerous and promising offspring, you are plunged into 
a loathsome prison, yet the rectitude of your cause, the 
firmness of your principles, the unbending energy of your 
mind, the ardent affection of your grateful countrymen, to 
the assertion of whose liberties you have devoted yourself, 
will cheer and sustain you through the progress of a 
tedious imprisonment. 

" When we call to recollection the illustrious dead who 
stood forward the champions and victims of their country's 
cause ; when we think of Hampden, of Russell, and of 
Sydney, who have sealed their principles with their blood ! 
all inferior feelings subside, and we forget the severity of 
your sufferings in their glory. 

" Although corruption has been leagued with falsehood, 
to misrepresent and vilify this Society, we have reposed in 
honest confidence on the consoling reflection, that we 
should at all times find an impregnable barrier in the 
trial by jury, wherein character and intention should be 
regarded as unerring guides to justice. But while we have 
been earnestly endeavouring to establish the constitutional 
rights of our country, we suddenly find ourselves at a loss 
for this first and last stake of a free people ; for the 
trial by jury loses its whole value when the sheriff or the 



pannel is under the influence of interest, prejudice, or de- 
lusion ; and that battery which liberty and wisdom had 
united to construct for the security of the people, is 
turned against them. However, in defiance of that sys- 
tem of proscription which is no longer confined to a par- 
ticular persuasion, but which visits with vengeance every 
effort in the cause of freedom, we trust you are assured of 
our inflexible determination to pursue the great object of 
our association — an equal and impartial representation 
of the people in parliament — an object from which 
no chance or change, no slander, no persecution, no 
oppression shall deter us.'' 


44 Xetrpate, February 8th, 1794. 

" United Irishmen, 

" You have greatly overrated 
both my merits and my sufferings. My merits, as a 
citizen, consist in an honest and resolute attachment in 
principle and in practice to that bond of our society, an 
equal representation of the people in parliament, which I 
conceive to be the essence of the British constitution, and 
which I esteem to be of absolute necessity for the peace 
and liberty of Ireland. 

" Do not tarnish the memory of the illustrious dead by 
hasty comparisons with the living. If mv sufferings, 
slight as they are in comparison with past and present 
examples, shall in any way contribute to our common 
object, I shall deem myself both honoured and rewarded. 

w Am H. ROWAN." 

n Fais ce que doy, arrive que pourra." 




" We, as part of the community, whose distresses for 
want of employment found a way to your philanthropic 
breast, have beheld with the pride of honest hearts your 
exertions in our cause, and that of our suffering brethren 
now unemployed. We sympathise as men, when we are 
told that you are sentenced to two years' imprisonment ; 
yet look round with satisfaction, when we hear the uni- 
versal regret expressed by all ranks of society at your 

" Permit us, Sir, to give this only return now in our 
power, for your attention to our famishing fellow-trades- 
men ; and to assure yon that no period of our lives can 
to us be more grateful than that when you will return to 
your family, your country, and your numerous friends. 
In our humble situation of life, we think nothing more 
dear to man than liberty, and we are proud to say, that 
to none will we yield in gratitude." 


" When the Almighty permitted the natural equality 
of man to be broken down into ranks and orders in so- 
ciety, he at once granted it as a favour, and imposed it as 
a duty upon those who jDOSsess untoiled-for affluence, to 
devote from their abundance a portion to the relief of the 
wants and miseries of their less favoured fellow-creatures. 
My endeavours to discharge that duty are over-rated by 
your partiality, and over-paid by the approbation you ex- 
press. I can assure you in return, that it is not the cir- 
cumstance in my confinement which least affects me, that 
I am thereby, for the present, debarred of the gratitica- 


tion I have felt, in contributing my limited services to 
relieve the necessities, and alleviate the distresses of so 
useful, so numerous a body, as the working manufacturers 
of this country." 

" Newgate, 2Sth February, 1794." 

Among many friendly letters which he received 
while in prison, there is one from Wogan Browne, 
Esq. then resident at Bath, expressed in terms of 
the warmest affection and condolence. He declares 
that he would be proud and gratified to become his 
bondsman, if some more intimate friend did not 
merit such an honour ; and offers to come at a 
moment's warning and take a house in Dublin, if 
he and his family could in any manner contribute 
to alleviate Mrs. Rowan's distress. 

" During the time of anxious suspense," says he, 
" which has intervened between the news of your trial 
and the event of those measures which it was evident in 
justice to yourself you must pursue, in order to have the 
verdict laid aside, I could not take up the pen to write to 
you, though I have often attempted it. I did not know 
of any consolation to offer, but the intimate sense you 
had of acting from good motives, and that it was useless 
for me to bring to your recollection. I did not know to 
what extent the ministers of the law could inflict punish- 
ment, so various were the opinions of those I heard upon 
the subject ; and I really experienced more tormenting 
doubt than I can well express, seeing by daily experience 
how much, under our glorious constitution, is left to the 
discretion of men who universally use their power with 



great indiscretion. I now thank God we know the worst, 
and must deem that punishment discreet, mild, and hu- 
mane, which is exactly the same which Lord George 
experienced, after having set fire to the four corners of 
London, and invited nine millions of people in this coun- 
try to murder their brethren, the Catholics, who might 
have been in number one-half million ! But I will not 
expatiate on this odious topic. I know your fortitude ; 
I know you would have suffered more than has been in- 
flicted without repining ; but it is Mrs. Rowan whom I 
feel for. * * * I am certain that I need not recommend 
very particular care of your health to you, connected with 
so many objects whose happiness you constitute, and whom 
that neglect would cause to despair ; let me, however, en- 
treat you to use some substitute for that exercise you 
cannot take. I am not in the least afraid of your mind ; 
I think I sufficiently well know the temper of it, to be 
certain that disappointment will not sour it, nor solitude 
deprive it of its excellent social qualities. Recollection 
will strengthen, if it were necessary, your fondness for 
liberty ; but I presume reflection may convince you, that 
till our common country has a more acute sense of the 
ignominy with which it is treated, no exertion of an 
honest individual can be very beneficial to it, however it 
may recoil upon himself." 

Mr. Rowan must have been highly gratified by 
such numerous and sincere proofs of friendship ; 
but assuredly nothing could be so soothing and de- 
lightful to his feelings, as the unwearied affectionate 
attentions of his beloved wife. Well could he ap- 
preciate the devotedness of her attachment, and the 
cheerfulness with which she strove to alleviate their 



common misfortune. He speaks of her in terms of 
the tenderest endearment, and affirms that her good 
sense and strength of mind deserve the highest en- 

Having procured an accurate report of the trial, 
he printed it at his own expense, and published it 
at such a price, and for such a benevolent object as 
he justly thought would secure its pre-eminence 
over every other. He intended to appropriate 
whatever profits might accrue from the sale, to the 
jbenefit of the distressed manufacturers. It con- 
tains 152 pages octavo, closely printed in a small 
type. P. Byrne, of Grafton-street, was the printer 
and publisher, of whom the Memoir gives the fol- 
lowing anecdote :— ] 

I had not been long imprisoned when the follow- 
ing conversation took place between Lord Clonmel 
and Mr. Byrne, printer, on his advertising my 
rial for publication in 1793. I should remark, 
that he gave me the conversation in his own hand- 
writing : — 

Lord Clonmel. " Your servant, Mr. Byrne ; 
I perceive you have advertised Mr. Rowan's 

Byrne. <; The advertisement, my Lord, is Mr. 
Rowan's ; he has selected me as his publisher, 
which I think an honour, and I hope it will be pro- 

Lord Clonmel. " Take care, Sir, what you do ; 
I give you this caution ; for if there are any re- 



flections on the judges of the land, by the eternal 
G — I will lay yon by the heels !" 

Byrne. " I have many thanks to return your 
Lordship for your caution ; I have many opportu- 
nities of going to Newgate, but I have never been 
ambitious of that honour, and I hope in this case 
to stand in the same way. Your Lordship knows 
I have but one principle in trade, which is to make 
money of it, and that if there were two publications 
giving different features to the trial I would publish 
both. There is a trial published by M 4 Kenzie. , " > 

Lord Clonmel. " I did not know that ; but say 
what you may on the subject, if you print or pub- 
lish what may inflame the mob, it behoves the 
judges of the land to notice it ; and I tell you, by 
the eternal G- — , if you publish or mis-state my 
expressions, I will lay you by the heels ! One of 
Mr. Rowan's advocates set out with an inflamma- 
tory speech, mis-stating what I said, and stating 
what I did not say. I immediately denied it, and 
appealed to the court and the gentlemen in it, and 
they all contradicted him, as well as myself. These 
speeches were made for the mob, to mislead and 
inflame them, which I feel my duty to curb. If 
the publication is intended to abuse me, I don't 
value it ; I have been so long in the habit of re- 
ceiving abuse, that it will avail little ; but I caution 
you how you publish it ; for if I find any thing 
reflecting on or mis-stating me, I will take care of 


Byrne. " I should hope Mr. Rowan has too 


much honour to have any thing mis-stated or in- 
serted in his trial that would involve his publisher." 

Lord Clonmel. 46 What ! is Mr. Rowan pre- 
paring his own trial V 

Byrne. " He is, my Lord." 

Lord Clonmel. " Oho ! oho ! that is a different 
thing. That gentleman would not have been better 
used by me, standing in the situation he did, if he 
was one of the princes of the blood." 

Byrne. " My Lord, Mr. Rowan being his own 
printer, you know he will publish his own trial ; I 
stand only as his publisher." 

Lord Clonmel. " Even as his publisher, I will 
take care of you ; and I have no objection to this 
being known." 

Byrne. " I return your Lordship many thanks." 




Jackson, an envoy from France — Cockaine the spy — Rowan 
copies Tone's statement of the situation of Ireland — Cockaine 
puts it into the post-office — his pretended examination before 
the Privy Council — Rowan visited by Emmet, Tone, and 
Dowling — Plans his escape from prison — succeeds — Kindly 
received by Mr. Sweetman — Proclamation and reward for his 
apprehension — Sails from Sutton — Narrow escape from an 
English fleet — Lands on the coast of France — Treated as an 
English spy — Sent under guard to Brest — Lodged with galley- 
slaves — Maltreated for his humanity to a priest — Receives con- 
solation from a religious book — Treated kindly by some French 
naval officers — Cause of their imprisonment — Erroneous ac- 
count of the action between the British and French fleets on 
the 1st of June — Jean Bon St. Andre — Mr. Delahoyde — Be- 
comes known to Mr. Sullivan — Liberated from confinement — 
Accompanies Sullivan to Paris. 

I had been nearly three months in prison when a 
clergyman was introduced to me, of the name of 
Jackson, who had arrived lately as an envoy from 
the French government ; he was accompanied by 
one Cockaine, a solicitor, of the society of Thaives 
Inns, London, whom he introduced as his friend. 
Jackson^s instructions from the Committee of Salut 
PuMique, were to present himself to the Irish pa- 
triots, and to promise, if the people of Ireland were 
inclined to reform the abuses of their government 
by a declaration of independence, that the French 



government would assist them in any way they 
might prefer ; and would desire no farther inter- 
ference.* It was also proposed that some well in- 
formed and trusty person should immediately pro- 
ceed to France, to arrange the plan of proceeding. 
Our eyes were immediately turned to Mr. Tone ; 
but some private affairs obliged him to decline the 
proposal. It was then suggested that Mr. Jackson 
should be furnished with a correct account of the 
state of Ireland, which he assured us he had a safe 
mode of sending by a private hand to the French 

It may be well to say who this Mr. Jackson 
was : he was a minister of the church of Eng;- 
land, who had been employed by the Duchess of 
Kingston, in writing for her against Mr. Foote, 
who had satirised her in some of his farces. In 
this transaction he became acquainted with Cock- 
aine, her attorney, from whom he had at different 
times borrowed some money. To this person, on 
his arrival in London, he addressed himself, stating 
the business in which he was engaged, and his 
prospects of being shortly able to pay his debt, and 
enrich himself. Cockaine waited on Mr. Pitt, and 
having informed him of Jackson's embassy, it was 

* By a decree of the 19th November, 1792, the French Con- 
vention declares, " au nom de la Xation Francoise, qu'elle accor- 
dera fraternite et secours a tous les peuples qui voudront recou- 
voir leur liberte." — Dr. Moore's Journal, Dublin, vol. 2, p. 277. 
" Such a decree," says Carlyle, "as no living fetter of despotism, 
nor person in authority can any where approve of." 



agreed that he should accompany him to Ireland ; 
and tliis project he put into execution, by pretend- 
that he was concerned in a suit in Ireland, and 
would take Jackson as his clerk. Mr. Pitt, how- 
ever, put them both under the care of a king's 
messenger, who accompanied them in the same 
packet to Dublin. Under his assumed character 
Cockaine was introduced to me in Newgate, and as 
Jackson said he was personally concerned as an 
English reformer, he was frequently in the society 
of many of my friends. 

Mr. Tone drew up a statement of the situation 
of Ireland and gave it to me ; I made two copies, 
and returned the original to Mr. Tone.* One of 
these copies was given to Jackson to convey to 
France. Cockaine, however, put it under a cover, 
directed it to a mercantile house at Hamburgh, and 
dropped it into the post-office. According to his 
agreement with Pitt, he was immediately seized and 
taken before the privy council ; and Jackson was 
arrested and sent to Newgate. The same evening 
Cockaine came to me in Newgate, lamenting his 
friend's indiscretion, which he said was the sole 
cause of the discovery, and begged of me, if pos- 
sible, to procure his admission to speak to Jackson. 
At this time nothing had transpired of my being 
concerned in the business, and being on good terms 
with the under jailer, I procured a promise, that as 
soon as the sentry should be withdrawn from J ack- 

* "Which he prudently either concealed or destroyed — Ed. 


son's room, he would admit Cockaine and me into 
it. At this interview Cockaine gave us a long 
account of his examination before the privy council ; 
he said that he had acknowledged having written 
the direction of the letter, by the order of Jackson, 
but knew nothing of the contents ; that he had 
been interrogated whether the papers were not in 
my handwriting ; but he denied ever having seen 
me write ; that the council seemed very inveterate 
against me ; and he added, that having refused 
to sign his examination, he was threatened with 
Newgate, but had been given three days to con- 
sider ; — that his solitary evidence would not be 
legal, as two witnesses were necessary to prove high 
treason, and he assured us if we were true to each 
other we were perfectly safe. I said I thought it 
possible I might make my escape. I asked him 
whether it would injure Jackson's defence, should I 
succeed. He said it could not. I said no more on 
that head. 

Messrs. Emmett, Tone, and Dowling had 
called on me the day I expected to have been 
brought before the privy council, and it was deter- 
mined I should tell the whole of the transaction 
without concealment, except of names of indivi- 
duals. I mentioned to them my plan of escape, 
which I had commenced, after Jackson's arrest, in 
the Fives Court, with Mr. Do well, jun. the under 
jailer. I told him that I had been pressed for 
money, and had sold a small estate, which was to 
have been paid for long since, but the purchaser, or 



rather the attorney, had started an objection, on 
account of my signing the deeds while in prison, 
by which my heirs might hereafter contest the 
sale ; but the attorney had said also, that by an 
additional expense of about £50 or ^lOO the risk 
might be evaded ; that I looked upon this as a 
mere cheatery of the attorney ; that I would rather 
give twice the sum to any person, and that I would 
consult Mr. Dowling. 

The next day was the 1st of May ; I told 
Mr. Dowell that it had been suggested to me, 
that he might easily assist me, if he would take 
me out of the prison just so long as to enable 
the witnesses to attest the signature being made 
out of the precincts of the jail ; and I declared 
that if he could contrive that, I should rejoice to 
give him the d^lOO instead of the attorney. He 
said he would ask the head jailer, and perhaps he 
would consent to it. I objected to this by saying 
that the head jailer might think, that during the 
course of my imprisonment he might take the 
same liberty at other times, and therefore he had 
better not make the application. Shortly after, 
he asked me whether he might not tell his 
father ; to which I immediately consented ; and it 
was agreed that he should give me an answer. A 
little before dinner- hour he came and desired me 
to be ready at twelve o'clock. This I immediately 
communicated to my friend Dowling, who pro- 
posed to meet me at that hour on horseback at 
the end of Sackville-street. We had a Swiss 



butler who had lived with us some years, to 
whom I laid open this part of the plan, and I 
directed a table to be laid out above stairs, with 
wine, &c. &c. in a front two-pair-of-stair room, 
the door of which commanded a view of the stair- 
case. He was instructed, when we came to the 
door, to show us up stairs, and say the gentlemen 
had called, but they would shortly return. 

About twelve o'clock Mr. Dowell appeared in the 
prison, with his sabre and pistols in his girdle, and 
thence accompanied me to my own house. On our 
arrival there, the servant did as he was instructed. I 
then sat down with Mr. Dowell to take some refresh- 
ment ; in the mean time I had prepared the purse 
with the 100 guineas, which I threw across the table 
to him, saying I was much better pleased with his 
having it than Six-and-eightpenny. And here I 
must record that he put the purse back to me, 
saying he did not do it for gain ; but I remon- 
strated, and he relented. At this moment I ac- 
cused myself of my insincerity ; but, as Godwin 
describes in Caleb Williams, under somewhat simi- 
lar circumstances, I was not prepared to " main- 
tain my sincerity at the expence of a speedy close 
to my existence. ,, 

I then said as we could not remain long ab- 
sent, if he had no objection, I would step into 
the back room opposite, where my wife and eldest 
boy slept. To this he immediately consented ; 
and I desired I might be called when the gentle- 
men returned. I entered, changed my clothes 



for those of my herd, who had opportunely come 
to town that day with a cow for the children. I 
then descended from the window by a knotted rope, 
which was made fast to the bed-post and reached 
down to the garden. I went to the stable, took 
my horse, and rode to the head of Sackville-street, 
where Mat Dowling had appointed to meet me. 
Here I was obliged to wait nearly half an hour be- 
fore Dowling appeared. His delay was occasioned 
by some friends having called on him to supper ; 
Mat never being the first to break up company, 
was obliged to remain until the party separated of 
themselves, lest he should be suspected of being 
concerned in my escape. Some of my friends ad- 
vised my taking my pistols with me ; but I had 
made up my mind not to be taken alive, so I only 
put a razor in my pocket. At last Dowling came 
up, and we set out for the house of Mr. Sweetman, 
who was a friend of his, and lived on the sea-side 
at Sutton, near Baldoyle, by whom, and his then 
wife, I was received with the utmost kindness ; and 
in a short time afterwards Dowling returned home* 
As soon as day broke Mr. Sweetman set out for 
Rush, in hope of procuring a smuggling boat that 
would take me to France. On his arrival there, 
he found the place in great confusion, for Mr. 
Dowell, with a military party, was searching se- 
veral of the houses ; but there were two in parti- 
cular, in either of which he expected to find me, as 
they belonged to some person who had been confined 
in Newgate, and had frequently dined with me ; but 



they had been released, as it was only for some re- 
venue affair they were in confinement. M'Dowell, 
however, immediately suspected them to have shel- 
tered me, and was then searching their houses. 
Thus disappointed at Rush, Mr. Sweetman said he 
thought I might be secreted somewhere in Ireland ; 
but I persisted in my wish to get to France, botli 
on my own and Mr. Jackson's account. He then 
asked me whether I would risk myself in a little 
fishing wherry of his, which lay moored close to 
his house. This I accepted willingly, if any person 
not in my situation would attempt the same risk. 
He replied that he would make enquiry on that 
subject ; and ere long, he told me he had met with 
two brothers of the name of Sheridan, who agreed 
to land a person in France, and to find a third, 
if necessary, to man the boat. 

In the course of this day, proclamations offering 
d? 1,000 from government, and £500 from the 
city, with as much made up of minor subscriptions 
from jailers and others, for my apprehension, were 
dispersed through all the environs of Dublin. 

It being determined on to employ Mr. Sweet- 
man's boat, it became necessary to purchase se- 
veral articles, such as a compass, charts, and provi- 
sions, for which he 'was obliged to go to Dublin. 
On his return I met him, and shortly after we 
were joined by the two Sheridans, one of whom, 
taking out of his pocket one of the proclamations, 
showed it to Mr. Sweetman and said, " It is Mr. 
Hamilton Boican ice are to take to France." " Yes," 





replied Mr. Sweetman, " and here he is and 
introduced me to them ; immediately the elder 

brother said, " Never mind it ; hy J s ice will 

land him safe" 

The wind being fair, it was determined to sail that 
night, but not to mention any thing to Murphy, 
who was the third person whom they had engaged, 
until we were all on board. Every thing went 
well until we were near Wexford, when the wind 
changed, and blew so hard that we were driven 
back to take shelter under Howth. During the 
night, the elder Sheridan told me that he had 
some conversation with the man they had en- 
.gao'ed to so with us, which made it necessary that 
either he or I should be always on deck, to see the 
course of the vessel ; " for though his brother was as 
sound as steel, yet he loved a sup." The weather 
had cleared before morning, and we again spread 
our sail with a fair wind. In crossing the British 
channel, while wc were nearer to England than 
to France, we found ourselves enveloped by a 
British fleet coining up the channel ; but the ships 
which served as convoy kept between them and 
the French coast, so that we passed unobserved. 
As we neared France, we were saluted by the fire 
of one of the numerous small batteries which 
were erected alon^ the shores. This was for 
want of colours ; so I borrowed Sheridan's night- 
cap, which by chance was red, filled it with straw, 
stuck it on a boat-hook, and lashed it to the 



helm as a bonnet de liberie* and thus sailed unmo- 
lested to the mouth of a small bay under the fort 
of St. Paul de Leon, called Roscoff. Here we saw 
a small fishing boat, which I boarded, and having 

town, the quay was crowded with inquirers, and I 

* " Xote, too, bow the Jacobin brethren are mounting new 
symbolical head-gear : the woollen cap, or night-cap, bonnet de 
laine, better known as bonnet rouge, the colour being red ; a 
tiling one wears not only by way of Phrygian Cap of Liberty, 
but also for convenience sake, and then also in compliment to the 
lower class of patriots and Bastille heroes — for the red night-cap 
combines all three properties." — Caklyle. " A. red cap was 
reached to the King at the end of a pike, by a man who cried, 
" Five la nation." The King said — ' The nation has no better 
friend than L' On which the other insolently added — ' Prove it 
then, by putting on the red cap, and crying Five la nation /' The 
Queen was also desired by a female patriot to wear a similar 
ornament. Shocked at the idea, she said, ' You see this cap will 
not go on my head.' She then put it on the head of the Prince. 
This satisfied the woman and her followers." — Moore's Journal. 
A friend of the Editor's, an antiquarian and virtuoso, being in 
Paris in 1838, was anxious to obtain a specimen of the celebrated 
bonnet rouge, and accordingly enquired for it in several shops ; 
but without success ; the object of his search not being under- 
stood, till he explained it by calling out, bonnet revolutionaire. 
He was then told, with a scrutinizing look, to call the next morn- 
ing and he should be gratified. This, however, at the suggestion 
of a friend, he prudently declined, lest he should meet a discour- 
teous and unphilosophical reception from certain gentlemen called 
gens d'armes, who had no taste for such antiquities. — Ed. 



was taken up to the Hotel de Ville. I was de- 
tained there some time before any of the constituted 
authorities arrived, and was then very minutely 
searched for papers. The Dublin Evening Post, 
which contained the proclamation, I handed to the 
president, who was commandant of the fort. I 
told him my story ; to which he coolly answered, 
after a few questions, that as by my own account 
1 had escaped from prison in my own country, he 
would take care I should not escape from him ; and 
lie ordered me to be confined in the upper room of 
the Town House, with a sentry in the room, until 
the mayor of the town should arrive and examine 
me. I then requested that a letter from me to the 
Committee de Salut Puhlique* in Paris should be 
forwarded immediately, which he promised, and it 
was forthwith put in execution. The place of 
my confinement overlooked the bay. It was now 
near the close of day ; and fatigued from the voy- 
age and agitated spirits, I laid myself on a straw 
mattrass which was placed in the corner of the 
room, and fell asleep. 

At midnight I was roused by the arrival of 
the mayor, who came to examine me. He in- 
terrogated me with more consistency and inge- 
nuity than I had as yet found among my new 
acquaintance. In the course of my examination, 
his eye turned towards my hat, in which some 

* " A ' Committee of Public Salvation," whereof the world 
still shrieks and shudders."— Caklyle. 


person at the court-house had put a national cock- 
ade ; he now rose and tore it out, exclaiming, as if 
in a violent rage, against me whom he knew to be 
an English spy, for having thus dared to profane 
the emblem of liberty ! I assured him that as soon 
as an answer to my letter came to him from the 
Comite de Saint PuUique he would know me better. 
He informed me that Jean Bon St. Andre was 
then in mission at Brest, overseeing the equipment 
of the ships which were destined to meet the British 
fleet. I beaded him to forward a letter from me to 

I rose early the next morning, and on going to 
my garret window, I was much mortified to see 
my little boat moored among the rest of the ves- 
sels in the harbour. When the municipal officer 
brought me my breakfast, I inquired for the sailors ; 
but I could get no other account either of men or 
vessel, except that it had been pursued and taken ; 
that the sailors were not at RoscofF, but they were 
safe. I was now informed that Jean Bon St. 
Andre had received my letter, and had ordered me 
to be sent to Brest, with a garde dloonneur (that 
meant to keep me safe). All my inquiries about 
the fate of the boat-men were still evaded by pre- 
tended ignorance. 

[Mr. Rowan, in a letter which he found means 
to have conveyed to his beloved wife, gives nearly 
the same account of his escape which appears in 
the Memoir, with a few additional circumstances. 



He says that after he left his house in Dominick- 
street, he spent so irksome a half-hour in waiting 
for his friend, that he had almost determined to 
return. After remaining two days in his asylum, 
where he was treated with the greatest kindness, 
he embarked on Saturday night, with a fair wind, 
which continued till the morning, when it became 
boisterous and contrary, and drove him back to 
Howth. He expresses the great solicitude which 
lie had felt for his boatmen, among whom and him- 
self he equally divided all the money in his pos- 
session. When he found that they were im- 
prisoned, he applied to the Minister of Marine, 
and procured their liberty at Brest, where they 
were enabled to earn five or six livres a day, and 
were lodged and boarded at the public expence. 
*' They are as well, and as happy, 11 says he, " as 
men kept from returning till spring, can be."* He 

* In a subsequent letter from Wilmington, after speaking of 
the importunity of some persons, to whom, he says, he felt but 
little indebted, he adds — " There are three men, who, I undex'- 
stand, are not importunate, whose honour, disinterestedness, and 
integrity, do credit to humanity, and claim my utmost gratitude. 
If I was this moment setting my foot on Irish land, my first visit 
ought to be paid to those men. If I had not gratitude, you would 
not love me — I should not be worthy of your love — I should not 
be sensible of what you have suffered through me, nor adore you 
for your sufferings." He adds, in a playful style — "I have taken 
a small sheet to compress my sins and confessions ; and upon 
looking over this letter, I find I have said nothing of your beauty : 
now, my poor deceased friend, Mrs. Wollstonecraft, (Did you 
see her when in London ?) says that ought never to be omitted : 
-well, then, you are beautiful as good, and good as beautiful." 



speaks of neutral places on the Continent, where it 
might be possible for Mrs. Rowan, with her chil- 
dren, to meet him ; expresses anxiety to know the 
fate of Jackson ; accuses himself bitterly for not 
having acted more agreeably to her prudent coun- 
sels, and fears that he may have forfeited her 
love and friendship. " I am unmanned, 1 ' he says, 
" when I think I have lost your regard ; and I am 
desperate when I reflect that I deserve it." As to 
this, his fears were visionary ; she felt and proved 
the full force and truth of the sentiment that 
has been so happily expressed and illustrated by 
our national bard : 

" The heart that has truly loved, never forgets, 

But as truly loves on to the close ; 
As the sun-flower turns to the god, when he sets, 

The same look which she turned when he rose."} 

In the course of the next morning, three cava- 
liers presented themselves as my convoy to Brest ; 
and a rascally nag, with an equally sorry equipage, 
was prepared for me. The three officers who com- 
posed this guard had all served in the Vendee 
war, and during our journey recapitulated several 
acts committed by them which appeared to me most 

In the evening we reached Morlaix, and were 
lodged in the guard house of the National Guard, 
which had formerly been a convent. A young 
man, a captain of La Garde Rationale, was on 
guard ; he had a very prepossessing countenance 



and pleasing manners. I gave him an account of 
my situation in Ireland, and my distress at the 
possible persecution of my family. Similar feelings 
seemed to have agitated him, for his reply was : 
" Et moi, fai perdu un pere qui rrfaimait Men, 
et non par la voie de la nature ; et pour garantir 
la reste de ma famille je suis force de porter Thabit 
que vous voyezr 

We set out the next morning, and on our ar- 
rival at Brest, went directly to the lodgings of St. 
Andre. He had gone on board the fleet, which 
was preparing to go to sea, to meet the British. 
The officers who formed my garde honneur being* 
anxious to get out of Brest before the closing of 
the gates, were now at a loss what to do with me. 
They knew I was not their prisoner ; but as in 
those critical times they must act with caution, or 
their heads might answer for it, they asked me 
whether I would have any objection to pass the 
night at the Military Hospital. I saw the delicacy 
of their situation, and answered; I would go wher- 
ever they chose. We then rode to the Ilopital des 
Invalides ; the captain having spoken with the 
concierge, returned, and I took leave of them. I 
was then led into a court yard surrounded by 
buildings, which had all the appearance of a 
prison, and taken to a door at which a sentry stood, 
to whom I was handed. He took me to a stair- 
case leading to a gallery which occupied one side of 
the square, and there he left me in the care of some 
galley slaves. This part of the building was fur- 



nished with beds on each side, about four feet 
from each other, most of them occupied by invalids 
collected from the different prisons in Brest, and 
some British and other prisoners whose health did 
not allow of their being sent to the interior. On 
entering this room, I was met by the galley slaves, 
who were designated as such by a slight wire round 
the left leg, just above the ancle. They then re- 
gistered my name, and gave me a pewter porringer 
and cup, which they desired me to place on the 
cover of a kind of press-bed which I was to occupy. 
In about an hour, during which I had to reply to 
many inquiries put to me by the invalids, a bell 
rang, and the galley-slaves drew into the room two 
tumbrells, in one of which were cauldrons of soup, 
as they called it, and on the other boiled kidney- 
beans and potatoes, and flagons of the vm clii pays ; 
the prisoners ranging themselves, each at the foot 
of his bed, with their cups and porringers in their 
hands ; I did the same. 

It was evident that this act of mine caused some 
commotion among my fellow-prisoners ; which was 
soon explained by a deputation from them coming 
up to me and desiring me to withdraw from my 
place, for that they were all good sans culottes, and 
it was not proper that an English spy should be 
fed along with them ! The galley-slaves, however, 
soon made me return to my place, for they com- 
manded in chief ; and soon after we all retired to 
our beds. During the nidit I detected one of the 
slaves rifling my pockets, when he thought I was 
l 3 



asleep, whilst lie pretended to be settling my bed- 
clothes. I told the person who lay in the next bed 
to mine that I would complain to the conceirge next 
day ; but he advised me to hold my tongue, for 
these people had the perquisite of all the clothes, 
&c. of those who died in the hospital, and it was 
strongly suspected they had been the death of some 
invalids, by giving them wrong medicine during 
the night. There were little closets at the end of 
every fourth or fifth bed, and a physician attended 
every morning. 

The idea of my being an English spy had ob- 
tained a greater currency from the arrival of six 
poor priests, who were brought in from the hold of 
a prison ship, in a miserable condition, covered 
with sores, from lying in the cable tier without any 
bedding. One of these was placed in the bed next 
to mine, and I constantly assisted him when ob- 
liged to leave his bed on different occasions. This, 
in the opinion of my companions, was a decided 
proof of my being an English spy ; for who but 
such a person would pay any attention to a refrac- 
tory priest ! 

Some days elapsed, and I had neither received 
any answer from the Comite de Salut Public, nor 
message from Jean Bon St. Andre. I attempted 
to address the physician during one of his morning 
visits ; but he stopped me immediately — " Tais 
toi : fy suis pour te saigner et non pour te parlerT 
What at first had rather amused me had now an 
effect on my spirits. Three days in each decade 



(for the week was changed from seven days to ten) 
the prisoners were permitted to walk for an hour 
in a wide alley of the garden of the hospital, 
guarded by sentries on each side, to prevent any 
intercourse between them and other persons. I 
was then ignorant of the fate of all my letters ; for 
the prisoners might write as many as they pleased, 
so as they paid for pens and paper, which were fur- 
nished by the slaves ; but they never went farther 
than the jailer's room. 

About this time an English sailor, of the name 
of Kodwell, from Yarmouth, was brought in sick 
from one of their ships, where he had been prisoner 
during the action ; he gave me an old duodecimo 
volume out of his bag. which afforded me more 
pleasure than I ever had before received from a 
single book. It was An Exposition of the Twaty- 
third Psalm, fall of corn fort all: and icholesome doc- 
trine : written to the Citye of London, by John 
Hooper printed in 1562. He then gave me a 
correct account of the action, very different indeed 
from that distributed among the people, who de- 
clared it to have been most decidedly favourable to 
the French, and that the English Admiral's ship 
had been sunk. 

[The reader may see a detailed account of 
the memorable action of the 1st of June, 1794, 
in James's Naval History. The French fleet 
fought gallantly ; but though superior to the 
British in the size of the ships, and in the nuni- 



bers both of guns and of men, England justly 
claimed the victory. Six of the noblest war-ships 
of France were captured, and a seventh, after strik- 
ing her colours, went to the bottom. The loss 
of the English was 290 killed, and 858 wounded ; 
that of the French, in killed, wounded, and pri- 
soners, 7,000. Notwithstanding, reports had been 
industriously circulated that the French were the 
victors. There had been some fighting on the day 
before that of the general engagement, and the 
Conventional deputy assured the French people, 
that the battle of the 29th, " although not decisive, 
had to them been eminently glorious ." The day 
following told a different tale. It is recorded of 
St. Andre, that he " thoroughly sans-cullotised the 
sailors of the port of Brest. * * He was on the deck 
of La Montague, a first-rate, on the first day of the 
engagement ; but being wounded in the arm, he 
removed into a frigate on the second day ; and, in 
consequence, his reputation for courage suffered 
some injury. It is even said, that during the con- 
flict, the frigate having occasion to engage with 
another of the enemy's, St. Andre, who was then 
in the cock-pit with the surgeon, asked one of the 
boys employed in carrying powder, how the action, 
went on. " You had better," said the young sailor, 
u go upon deck, if you would know with certainty. 1 ' 
" The event of this action was unfavourable to 
the naval honour of France, though it saved the 
American convoy, consisting of 230 ships, laden 
with corn and other necessaries of life, which were 



much wanted at that time in France." — Biogra* 
phical Anecdotes of the Founders of the French Re- 

Soon after the action, a paragraph appeared in 
the Dublin newspapers, asserting that Mr. Rowan 
was on board the La Montague, the French ad- 
miral's ship — a report which caused Mrs. Rowan 
no small anxiety, till she ascertained that it was a 
fabrication. This was followed, in the ensuing 
September, by another fabrication, purporting to be 
the true copy of a letter, dated Paris, Messidor 16, 
and signed A. H. Rowan ; studiously contrived to 
misrepresent him, and bearing no similitude in 
style or in sentiment to any thing he could have 

One side of the building in which I was confined, 
was occupied by the revolutionary tribunals, and 
we daily saw from our windows, on the opposite 
side, waggon-loads of prisoners brought for trial. 
Those who were condemned returned immediately 
in the same vehicle to the guillotine, with their 
arms pinioned and their necks bare, while the 
crowds were shouting " Vive la Ttepulliqiie? 

I had now been a long time in prison, when in 
our morning airings a naval officer, who belonged 
to one of the vessels which had been captured at 
Toulon, told me there was a vacant bed in the 
officers 1 room, and he thought if I asked the con- 
cierge I might get it, and should be more comfort- 
ble. I told him it had been suggested to me be- 



fore ; but as I passed for an English spy, and 
knew them to be confined for something of the 
Toulon business, I did not make the application ; 
but would do so now, as they did not think it 
would injure them. It was granted, and the ex- 
change of situation was delightful. These officers 
lived separately in a room to themselves, were per- 
mitted to receive their friends, and were allowed 
to have some books, to which I had now free access, 
and which, of course, put the Exposition of the 
Psalm out of favour. 

One of these gentlemen gave me the following 
account of their imprisonment : — The English hav- 
ing taken possession of Toulon, found an extraor- 
dinary number of French seamen collected there, 
and feared an insurrection might ensue. To pre- 
vent this, they proposed that two of the French 
vessels in the harbour should embark as many 
sailors as they could, and they would give them 
passports to Brest ; which they accepted, and ar- 
rived there safe with upwards of 1,000 sailors. 
On their arrival, J ean Bon St. Andre had compli- 
mented them on having saved so many sailors to 
the Republic, and invited them to live with him. 
In about the time it would take for the return of 
letters from Paris, St. Andre asked them one day, 
after dinner, where they had stowed their guns. 
Their answer was, that the vessels had been dis- 
mantled previous to the embarking of the sailors. 
" "What !" said he in a furious tone, " you gave up 
your arms without any resistance ! You have be- 



trayed your country P He immediately quitted 
the room ; and shortly after a guard came in, and 
conducted them to where I saw them. I do not 
say these gentlemen were republicans, or attached 
to the present form of government ; but I think 
they would have served it with zeal and spirit 
against any foreign force whatever. I repeated to 
them the account I had heard of the action of 
June ; but it was so opposite to that which they 
had received of it, that they said I was prejudiced, 
and exulted as much at the victory, which they 
asserted was gained by their fleet, as if they had 
participated in the battle. A slight coolness in 
their behaviour to me was the consequence, during 
the short time I remained there after this occur- 
rence. I met some of them in Paris after their 
liberation, when they acknowledged their error, and 
and apologised for their conduct, which had pre- 
viously been most kind and friendly. 

I must now relate the circumstances which led 
to my release from the hospital at Brest. 

At an early period of the French revolution, my 
old friend and neighbour in the county of Kildare, 
Mr. Wogan Browne, had introduced me to a guest 
at his hospitable mansion, Mr. Delahoyde, who 
had come to Ireland on some private business, pre- 
vious to the French revolution. He had served in 
the Irish Brigade, and had the military cross. 
His residence was in the neighbourhood of Brest, 
where he had married a lady of good fortune, from 
which and other circumstances, such as the general 



proscription of foreigners and those so connected, 
he was afraid to return to France, although it was 
very necessary he should, as his property lay in or 
about Brest. In order to facilitate his return, I 
proposed to Mr. Browne that I would get his friend 
elected into the corps of Independent Dublin Volun- 
teers, and by giving him a furlough as their major, 
with a certificate of being a good Irish citizen and 
lover of liberty, I thought he might trust himself 
in France. He did so, and of course took every 
opportunity of parading the certificate before the 
constituted authorities at Brest, his place of resi- 
dence. One of these happened to be Mr. Sullivan, 
the inspector of all the prisoners of war. He was 
on his tour of duty, when a letter of mine was 
bought to the jailer, who threw it to Mr. Sullivan, 
with a " Sacre Dieu ! debarrassez moi de cet liomme 
la, quon le renvoie on qiCon le guillotine, car il 
m'mnuie." On reading my letter, Mr. Sullivan, 
happening to recollect the name, came into the 
prison, and finding I was the person he supposed, 
promised to write to the Gomite de jSalut Public for 
me ; and by the return of the post, he got orders 
to Prieur de la Marne, who had replaced Jean 
Bon St. Andre at Brest, to liberate me, and send 
me and Sullivan to Paris ; for which place we set 
out the next morning, in a Berline a quatre die- 
maux, with the tricolour flag flying from the roof 
as usual, as a representative of the nation, and at 
its expense. The same orders had been sent to 
Boscoff ; but the authorities had neglected to for- 



ward them to Brest, supposing that I had seen 
Jean Bon St. Andre, and therefore needed no fur- 
ther attention. As we passed along, in various 
demesnes we saw hanging on the trees and on most 
of the substantial-looking houses, notices of " Pro- 
priety Nationale a Yendre" 

On our arrival at Orleans, the decree acknow- 
ledging God, and the immortality of the soul, 
which had just passed the Convention, was about 
to be promulgated by a great fete ! All the public 
functionaries, of every sort, civil and military, were 
assembled at the chief church, which was then 
opened for the public. About half way up the very- 
handsome steeple of the church, a large board was 
placed, on which the words 6 * Le peuple Francais 
reconnoit ISEtre Supreme et VImmortaUte de VAme" 
were blazoned in large gold letters, with a screen 
before it. At a signal the screen fell, amidst the 
firing of cannon and musketry, and bands of music 
playing, while the multitude responded, " Vive 
Robespierre F who was supposed to be the framer 
of the decree. We continued our route to Paris, 
where we arrived the same night, and drove to the 
Committee of Sahit Public. 



Interview with Robespierre — .Taken ill of fever — Attended by 
the chief surgeon of the army — Visited by an old friend — 
Citizen Herman's generosity — Mentions Jackson's case — Takes 
lodgings — Tyranny of the French government, and oppression 
of the people — Executions by the guillotine — Great political 
changes — Jacobin clubs dispersed — Weary of Paris — Resolves 
to embark for America — Obtains passes to Havre — Sails down 
the Seine in a wherry — Assaulted by the alarmist Sans Culottes 
— Taken before the Mayor of Passy — Allowed to proceed — 
Instance of extraordinary honesty in the French — Reaches 
Rouen — Law of the Maximum — Mary Wollstonecraft — En- 
gages a passage to America — Brought to by a British frigate — 
Interrogated by an officer — Lands in Philadelphia — Settles in 

I had been suffering under an attack of fever, 
■which hung over me from the time I left Brest, 
and which rendered me almost incapable of answer- 
ing the few questions put to me by Robespierre, 
■who on seeing my situation, dismissed us, and 
ordered our attendance on the next morning. My 
fever had, however, increased so much during the 
night, that I could not rise from my bed ; and 
Monsieur Colon, the chief surgeon of the army, 
was ordered by the Committee to attend me. I 
was lodged in a superb suit of apartments, in the 
Hotel de la Place Bepuhlique, (formerly Palais 



Royale,) with orders to furnish me with every 
thing I could require, an depem de la nation. 

During this time I received a visit from a £eii- 
tleman who had been a fellow-student at Cambridge 
and at Warrington Academy, where I spent a year 
of my rustication,* but who was one of the last I 
should have expected to meet in France at such a 
period. He was a member of parliament. f He 
told me Mr. Jackson had been introduced to him 
in London, and he thought it safest to absent 
himself, though he was quite ignorant of Irish 
aftairs. I can scarcely speak highly enough of the 
constant attendance of Monsieur Colon both day 
and nio'ht ; nor his absolute refusal of the most 
trifling gratuity. In about six weeks I was suffi- 
ciently convalescent ; and I waited on the Comite 
de Saint Public. Some few questions concerning the 
state of parties in Ireland and England were put 
to me, and I was then dismissed, and ordered to 
apply to Citizen Herman, Intendant of the Finance, 
for any thing I should require. 

I mentioned Jackson's situation in Ireland ; and 
I was told that the Russian Ambassador had been 
requested to say, that General CTHara, who had 
been taken prisoner at the recapture of Toulon, 
should undergo the same fate as Jackson. I ven- 

* This passage confirms what was offered only as conjecture in 
page 45. This record of the fact had escaped the editor's re- 
collection when the MS. was sent to the printer Ed. 

f I believe Mr. Bingham. — J. H. R. 



tured to say, that I did not think this would have 
any effect on the British government, their cases 
were so dissimilar ; but that I was certain Cockaine 
might be bought off; and I was answered, that 
that had also been taken care of. Citizen Herman 
laughed at me, for my anxiety about the expense I 
was at in the hotel during my illness, and desired 
the bill to be sent to him and it should be paid ; 
but if I was determined to change my residence, 
to let him know ; and if I wanted any thing, to 
apply to him. For my immediate expenses he 
gave me an order for 1,000 limes on the treasurer, 
apologising for the smallness of the sum, but de- 
siring me to apply to him without ceremony for 
whatever I might want in future. But he was 
dragged to the guillotine soon after this conversa- 
tion, as an adherent of Robespierre. I had at that 
time settled a plan of communication with my wife, 
who contrived means to supply me plentifully ; so 
that this was the only pecuniary assistance I re- 
ceived from the French government. 

I now took lodgings in the hotel in which my 
mother had lived, and where my eldest son was 
born. It was in the Rue Mousseau, and had been 
bought by, or given to a lock-smith, who had for- 
merly been employed at V ersailles. In this house 
I witnessed several of the inconveniencies of a re- 
volutionary government. He was ordered to pre- 
pare carriages for four heavy guns. He had no 
plan or model given him, nor was it in his line of 
business ; yet he was made responsible for the 



wood as well as the iron work. I saw one of these 
carriages rejected four times by the inspector, who 
could not even point out its faults. Another ex- 
tortion practised upon housekeepers, was the search- 
ing for saltpetre. This was carried on by persons 
who demanded entrance into the cellars, and forced 
the proprietors to remove casks, bottles, wood, or 
any thing that came in their way. Unless well 
paid, they instantly commenced excavations ; in 
this case, the owner of the house was obliged to pay, 
according to their very erroneous measurement, a 
certain sum per cubic foot for the earth removed, 
and as much more for that which they brought, as 
they said, to fill up the cavity. 

The dissensions between the members of the 
Comite de Salut Public now became serious. Callot, 
D'Herbois, Barrere, and their partizans; industri- 
ously heaped the odium of all the measures of 
severity upon Robespierre, hoping to screen them- 
selves from enormities which were common to all 
such governments. In this they were seconded by 
all the enemies to the revolution ; and their united 
efforts, on the 9th Thermidor, brought Robespierre, 
Couthon, and St. Just, to the scaffold, rather than 
any excessive cruelty they had been guilty of, which 
was the order of the day, under the pretence of 
public good. 

In two days after the execution of Eobespierre, 
the whole commune of Paris, consisting of about 
sixty persons, were guillotined in less than one 
hour and a half, in the Place de la Revolution ; and 



though I was standing above a hundred paces from 
the place of execution, the blood of the victims 
streamed under my feet. What surprised me was, 
as each head fell into the basket, the cry of the 
people was no other than a repetition of " A has 
le Maximum /" which was caused by the privations 
imposed on the populace by the rigorous exaction 
of that law which set certain prices upon all sorts 
of provisions, and which was attributed to Robes- 
pierre. The persons who now suffered were all of 
different trades ; and many of them, indeed, had 
taken advantage of that law, and had abused it, by 
forcing the farmers and others who supplied the 
Paris markets, to sell at the maximum price, and 
they retailed at an enormous advance to those who 
could afford to pay. I did not see Robespierre 
going to the guillotine ; but have been informed 
that the crowd which attended the waggon in which 
he passed on that occasion, went so far as to 
thrust their umbrellas into the waggon against his 

From this period every thing bore a new face. 
Marat's bust and the bonnet de liberie were torn 
down and trampled upon in the theatres and other 
public places. The revolutionary committees, one 
of which was established in each of the forty- eight 
districts into which Paris was divided, were re- 
duced to twelve. The armourers, and other work- 
men, who had been brought from Liege and other 
places to Paris, to work for the republic, were sent 
back to their different habitations. The meetings 



of the citizens in their sections, which took place 
ever j Quint id i and Decadi. were limited to Decadi 
only. The hour of meeting was changed from 
evening to noon ; and the allowance which had 
been made bv government of one day's labour to 
all citizens attending those meetings was discon- 
tinned. But the greatest alteration which now 
took place was that of dispersing the Jacobin Club. 
Several noted members of this society were im- 
prisoned, while those who had been confined on 
suspicion of incivisim, were released in great 

It now became a measure of personal safety, to 
be able to declare that one had been imprisoned 
during Robespierre's tyranny. It was dangerous 
even to appear like a Jacobin, as several persons 
were murdered in the streets, by La Jeunesse 
Parisienne,* merely because they wore long coats 
and short hair. 

On my first arrival in Paris, there was an im- 
mense number of houses on which was painted in 
large letters, " Propriety Rationale a vendre and 
on almost all others, the words " Liberty Egalite, 
Fraternitt\ on la mort." After the death of Robes- 
pierre, the three last words were decided to be ter- 
rorist, and were expunged every where. At the 

* La Jeunesse Parisienne were a body of young men of g*ood 
family, whose relations had suffered death or imprisonment under 
the reign of terror ; and who appeared in open opposition to the 
Jacobins and the terrorists after the downfall of Robespierre. 



time of the horrid explosion of the powder maga- 
zine in the Plaine de Grenelle, dismay appeared 
on the countenance of almost every one. By this 
dreadful catastrophe seven hundred workmen lost 
their lives ; and their widows were inscribed on 
the books of the section — (I lived in Section des 
Champs Elisees) — as having lost their husbands 
on that day, and being thrown on the republic 
for support. Every misfortune prior to this time 
had been laid on Pitt and Coburg ; now the Ja- 
cobins were considered to be the evil genii of the 
French nation ; so that this accident, and some fires 
which took place about this time in Paris, were 
attributed to them. I thought it a doubtful case 
whether the renewed Committee of Balut Publique 
would hold up against the Jacobin party ; but the 
former was seconded by the Royalist party, who 
were duped into the idea that royalty would be 
well re-established the moment the Jacobins were 
effectually overthrown. The Royalists, however, 
by this coalition became ultimately victorious over 
both parties. 

Bein<x much discontented with the distracted 
state of Paris, where they were too busy with their 
own intestine divisions to think of assisting Ire- 
land, or of any thing beneficial to others, after 
spending almost a year there, I solicited, and with 
some difficulty obtained, through the assistance of 
an Irish Roman Catholic of the name of Madget, 
who was employed in some of the offices of the re- 
public, passports to Havre, in order to embark for 


the United States of North America, under the 
assumed name of Thomson. 

Not wishing to mix indiscriminately with the 
persons I might meet in a diligence, I determined 
to fall down the river, at least as far as Rouen, in 
a little Thames wherry, which I had bought at the 
sale of the Duke of Orleans's effects, at his country 
house; and on the 17th of April, 1795, I em- 
barked in her, with my little dog, my necessaire* 
and various other small packages, among which 
was one parcel from Mr. Monroe, the American 
Ambassador, to Mr. Randolph, the Secretary of 
State at Philadelphia, which, with my regular pass- 
ports and certificates of having regularly mounted 
my guards during my residence in Paris, I thought 
might alone have sufficed for my safety under any 
examinations. I had got down the river as far as 
the Port Royal Bridge, when an alarmist sans 
cidotte espied me, and immediately denounced me 
as " Un depute qui iecadolt avec Vor de la nation^ 
He procured a musket, which he from time to time 
levelled at me, and threatened to fire, as often as 
the boat, either driven by the current, or to avoid 
barges, approached so near the side he was on that 

* Boite, etui qui renferme differentes choses necessaires ou com- 
modes en voyage. — Ghambaud. " Moreover, her Majesty can- 
not go a step any whither without her necessaire, dear necessaire, 
of inlaid ivory and rose-wood, cunningly devised, which holds 
perfumes, toilette implements, infinite small queen-like furnitures 
necessary to terrestrial life." — Carlyle. 


the battlements prevented his having a full view 
of me. 

At length I came to the landing-place at the 
gate of Chaillot, when this man, who was evidently 
intoxicated, in his haste to seize me, stepped upon 
the gun-wale of the little boat, and at the same 
time swamped it and threw himself into the water. 
I leaped out, and desired to be conducted to the 
guard at the barrier of Passy. By this time some 
hundred persons were collected, and the back ranks 
not knowing exactly what was going on in the 
front, began the usual cry of "i la lanterne !" 
The officer on guard came up from the gate ; I 
showed him my passports, and particularly my 
certificates of having mounted all my guards in my 
section. He said my papers were all " en regie" 
and that I might proceed;* but the mob still in- 

* In one of his loiters Mr. Rowan says — " When I was desired 
to go away, I represented the impossibility of so doing, sur- 
rounded as I was ; besides my persecutor had declared his nolo, 
and had even attempted to pinion me ; an attempt which, with 
more of man savage than man polite, I had resisted with a violent 
blow of the elbow in his stomach. The moment I had done so 
was the moment of my repentance. I was successful, however, 
in parrying the effect, by violent assertion of the rights of man in 
a free country. At last ii compromise was made that I should 
go to the municipality or the mayor. This was the day after 
Barrere, Collot, and Billaud had been brought back by the 
people in opposition to the decree of the Convention ; and the 
minds of the people being much heated, you may imagine I waited 
no longer than was necessary to set the boat afloat, and put off, 
leaving a discontented crowd behind me." 





sisted that I was carrying off Vor de la nation, and 
I requested the officer who was drawing off his 
guard, to allow me to take my small baggage to the 
guard-room, and open it there for the satisfaction 
of the people ; but he peremptorily refused, and 
marched off, saying " ce iieioit pas son affaire P 
At length one from among them proposed to take 
ine before the mayor of Passy, whither I pro- 
ceeded, conducted by my first friend, who still held 
me. and followed by the crowd. 

We found the mayor at home. My conductor 
pushed into his room. I was somewhat assured 
as to his character, by his saying to this fellow, 
c; Gte ton bonnet ; ne vois tit 2 )as T 1 ^ J e su * s de- 
cov.vert f" The man obeyed, and then stated his 
suspicions of my story, one of which was, the 
improbability of intending to row to Havre, and 
yet wearing gloves at setting out for so lono- a dis- 
tance. I again produced my papers to the mayor ; 
they were re-examined, and it was declared that 
every thing was en regie, and that they should 
permit me to continue my voyage. At the same 
time the mayor complimented my conductors for 
their zeal and attention to the safety of the re- 
public. My persecutors, in some little dudgeon, 
now left me, while the crowd returned with me to 
the water side. Here, to my inexpressible sur- 
prise, I found every thing in my boat exactly as I 
had left it — some bottles of wine, a little silver 
cup, my necessaire, and a gold-headed cane, all 
safe, though at the mercy of hundreds, who, while 
m 2 


they would, without ceremony, have tucked me up 
to the lamp-iron, would not touch an article of my 

[It seemed very remarkable to Dr. Moore, that 
in the ungovernable state of Paris, though he went 
frequently alone from the Caffe de Foy in the 
Palais Royal, after it was dark, he was never at- 
tacked, nor did he ever hear of a single street-rob- 
bery or house-breaking during his stay in that me- 
tropolis. One might suppose that many of the 
atrocities perpetrated by the people originated in 
the love of spoil, and that they were " urged on by 
lucre and the gold louis of wages.*' " Nay," says 
Carlyle, " not lucre, for the gold watches, rings, 
money, of the massacred, are punctually brought 
to the town-hall, by killers sans indispensables, 
who higgle afterwards for their twenty shillings of 
wages ; and Sergent, sticking an uncommonly fine 
agate on his finger, (fully meaning to account for 
it) becomes Agate-Sergeiity* The engrossing pas- 

* " A certain person (of some quality or private capital, to ap- 
pearance,) entering hastily, flings down his coat, waistcoat, and 
two watches, and is rushing to the thick of the work. ' But your 
watches ?' cries the general voice. ' Does one distrust his 
"brothers ?' answers he. Nor were the watches stolen. How 
■beautiful is noble sentiment ; like gossamer gauze, beautiful and 
cheap, which will stand no wear and tear ! Beautiful cheap gos- 
samer gauze, thou film shadow of a raw material of virtue, which 
art not woven, nor likely to be, into duty ; thou art better than 
nothing, and also worse I" — Caklyle. "When the populace 



sion was what they called patriotism ; and, for a 
time, this " like Aaron's serpent swallowed all the 
rest." Every atrocity was perpetrated with im- 
punity, not from private interest or personal ani- 
mosity, but from zeal for the public good ! Dr. 
Moore justly remarks that " this is no alleviation 
of the evil ; on the contrary, it were much less 
grievous for the citizens to be exposed to street 
robberies and house-breakings, which were punished 
when discovered, than that a misguided populace 
should be tolerated in the exercise of justice upon 
whoever they consider as state criminals."] 

I now began to lade the water out of my boat, 
when a woman spoke to me in English, and advised 
me to get off as soon as I could, for the people 
were much discontented with the mayor for having 
released me, and meditated some farther impedi- 
ment to my journey. As the boat could now float, 
I stepped in and pushed off. I now fell down the 
river about half a mile, and there seeing only some 
washerwomen on the banks, I put the boat to 
shore, to get out the remainder of the water. This 
was one of those places in the neighbourhood of 

seized on the carriage of the Prince de Lambesc, " the horses; 
were put into a neighbouring' stable ; and the portmanteau, care- 
fully detached, was lodged in the hall. This trivial circumstance is 
worthy of notice, because it shows the respect then paid to pro- 
perty ; and that the public mind was entirely fixed on those grand 
objects which absorb private passions and interests." — Mart 




Passy, where the washerwomen assemble to wash 
linen. The whole posse instantly rose, hattoit a la 
main ;* they seized me on the same charge of tin 
depute qui s'evadoit, fyc. <$•<?. and "took me before 
the mayor of Passy a second time, who again re- 
leased me, and a second time complimented the 
ladies on their patriotism and vigilance. 

I now determined, in case of any farther impe- 
diment, to give up my boat and try my fortune by 
land. I, however, reached Argenteuil undisturbed, 

* Mr. Carlyle, in his history of the French revolution, gives us 
some graphic descriptions of such heroines : — " These are female 
patriots, whom the Girondines call Megseras, and count to the 
extent of 8,000 ; with serpent hair all out of curl, who have 
changed the distaff for the dagger. They are of the society 
called brotherly, fratemelle, say sisterly, which meets under the 
roof of the Jacobins. Two thousand daggers or so have been 
ordered, doubtless for them. They rush to Versailles to raise 
more women." Heroines of the insurrection of women ; strong 
dames of the market (and of the washing-tub) ; they sit there with 
oak branches, tricolor bedizenment, firm seated on their can- 
nons." " Demoiselle Theroigne has on her grenadier bonnet, 
short-skirted riding-habit, two pistols garnish her small waist, 
and sabre hangs in baldric by her side." This Amazon " distin- 
guished herself in the action of the 10th, by rallying those who 
fled, and attacking a second time at the head of the Marseillois." 
Howan, though strong and athletic, would have had small chance 
of escape from a posse of such heroines, had they been a little 
more excited. The battoir of a Gallic female patriot might have 
done no less fierce execution than the Thyrsus of the Thracian 
Bacchant® when assaulting the blameless Orpheus. The greatest 
enormities were attributed to an excess of patriotism ; " and 
none," says Dr. Moore, " dared to blame them. Never was 
tyrant more feared and flattered than le peuple souverain." 

ak:hieald Hamilton rowan". 247 

spread my things to dry, went and paid a visit to 
the old curate M'Laughlin, spent a day in Paris, 
and on the ISth resumed my course, which was 
extremely pleasant. My mode of travelling was 
certainly novel, and created more suspicion during 
the whole route than I had been aware of. In 
about four days I reached Rouen without any other 
remarkable occurrence. 

"When I left Paris there was a great scarcity of 
bread ; yet in the country it was plentiful and cheap. 
The fact was. that the farmers had been plundered 
by the citizens, under the law of maximum.* This 
law was now no longer enforced ; but the country 
people, out of revenge, withheld the necessary sup- 
plies from the towns where it had been enforced. 

At Rouen I renewed an acquaintance with the 
family of Mr. Garvey. which had originated in 
1772, when I resided nearly two years in that city. 
After spending two or three days there, I got into 
a diligence, and in one day more arrived in Havre, 

* '* The gTazier no longer drove his oxen to Paris, where the 
maximum, on entering the barriers, diniinished half their value ; 
nor could the butcher furnish meat, when the maximum allowed 
him but half the purchase money of the cattle. Des earemzs 
ciriques (patriotic lents) were recommended to the fasting multi- 
tude; but one wag, more indignant than the rest, painted well 
the state of want and cruelty to which Paris was then abandoned, 
by writing on the pedestal of the statue which was placed on the 
spot of the public executions — ' 77 ny a de boucherit a Paris, que 
sur cette place.' (The only slaughter-house in Paris is at tins 
place.)"— Letters ly H. M. miliums. 



In that port there was only one vessel bound 
to America ; and upon applying to the captain, 
he informed me that his cabin was engaged, and 
that he had no berth to spare. I had informed 
my family of my intentions, and I determined on 
trusting the captain, John Dillon of Baltimore, 
with my real name. He then assured me he was 
concerned he had no better accommodations ; but 
he would do every thing in his power for me. He 
informed me that American vessels leaving France 
were very strictly searched by the British, and 
advised me to look over my papers, and added 
that he also would make up some new bills of 
lading for me, in my assumed name of Thomson, 
that I might appear like an American merchant 
returning home with my property . 

During my residence at Paris, I had become 
acquainted with Mary Wollstonecraft, who had 
visited France with the intention of making herself 
acquainted with the true state of that country, and 
lived in a small cottage close to Paris. As Ame- 
ricans were then the only avowed foreigners pro- 
tected in that city, and as after the death of Ro- 
bespierre, the orders against the natives of other 
countries were more rigorously enforced than ever, 
an American family, of the name of Christie, with 
whom she was intimate, offered her an asylum 
at their house. There she became acquainted with 
Mr. Imlay, also an American, who paid his ad- 
dresses to her ; and partly as a safeguard against 
persecution, by being the wife of an American, she 



submitted to a republican marriage, and from that 
time was called Mrs. I inlay. She took the care of 
his house and commercial concerns during his ab- 
sence on different speculations, and was treated afl 
his wife by all who knew her. He had a house at 
Havre, whither she was then going with her infant 
daughter. She offered me a lodging there while 
waiting for a passage to America ; and from thence, 
and from London I received the following letters, 
which I add. as they show the state of her feelings 
at a remarkable period, when her case was most 

** Havre, April. 

u My dear Sir, 

P I wrote a few hasty lines to you 
just now before we entered the vessel, and after hurrying 
myself out of breath — for as I do not like exaggerated 
phrases, I would not say to death — the awkward pilot ran 
us aground ; so here we are in an empty house, and with 
the heart and the imagination on the wing, you may 
suppose that the slow march of time is felt very painfully. 
I seem to be counting the ticking of a clock ; and there 
is no clock here. For these few days I have been busy 
preparing ; now all is done, and we cannot go. If you 
^ere to pop in, I should be glad, for in spite of my im- 
patience to meet a friend who deserves all my tenderness, 
I have still a comer in my heart where I will allow you 
a place, if you have no objection. It would give me 
sincere pleasure to meet you at any future period, and to 
be introduced to your wife. Pray take care of yourself ; 
and when you arrive, let me hear from vou. You will 
not find a very comfortable house ; but I have left a little 
M 3 



store of provisions in a closet, and the girl who assisted 
in our kitchen, and who has been well paid, has promised 
to do every thing for you. Mr. Wheatcroft has your 
packages, and will give you all the information and as- 
sistance he can. I believe I told you that I offered Mr. 
Kussell's family m}^ house ; but since I arrived I find 
that there is some chance of letting it. Will you, then, 
when Mr. Wheatcroft informs you in what manner he 
has settled it, write the particulars to them ? I imagine 
that the house will be empty for a short time to come at 
any rate, and the good people here sold my furniture for 
me. Still, I think, as they have many necessaries, they 
will find this house much more comfortable than an inn. 
Perhaps I may visit your country ; if so, I shall not 
forget to tell your wife that I call yourself my friend. I 
neither like to say or write adieu. If you see my brother 
Charles, pray assure him that I most affectionately re- 
member him. Take every precaution to avoid danger. 

" Yours sincerely, 


" London, January 26, 1796. 

" My dear Sir, 

" Though I have not heard from 
you, I should have written to you, convinced of your 
friendship, could I have told you any thing of myself 
that could have afforded you pleasure. I am unhappy. 
I have been treated with unkindness, and even cruelty, by 
the person from whom I had every reason to expect affec- 
tion. I write to you with an agitated hand. I cannot 
be more explicit. I value your good opinion ; and you 
know how to feel for me. 1 looked for something like 


happiness in the discharge of my relative duties, and the 
heart on which I leaned has pierced mine to the quick. I 
have not heen used well, and I live but for my child, for 
I am weary of myself. When I am more composed, I 
will write to you again. Mean time let me hear from 
you, and tell me something of Charles. I avoid writing 
to him, because I hate to explain myself. I still think 
of settling in France, because I wish to leave my little 
girl there. I have been very ill — have taken some des- 
perate steps. But I am now writing for my indepen- 
dence. I wish I had no other evil to complain of, than 
the necessity of providing for myself and my child. Do 
not mistake me. Mr. Imlay would be glad to supply all 
my pecuniary wants ; but unless he returns to himself, I 
would perish first. Pardon the incoherence of my style ; 
I have put off writing to you from time to time, because 
I could not write calmly. It would afford me the sin- 
cerest pleasure to hear from you, were you re-united 
to your family, for I am your affectionate and sincere- 


" Pray write to me. I will not fail — I was going to- 
say, when I have any thing good to tell you ; but for me 
there is nothing good in store ; my heart is broken. 
Adieu. God bless you," 

" London, September \2th, 1796. 

" My dear Friend, 

" I wrote to you some months since, by 
a private hand ; and though you have never acknowledged 
the receipt of my letter, which I think a little unkind, in 
spite of the affectionate remembrances that have reached 



me through the medium of Mr. Maxwell, I feel an incli- 
nation to inform you of the present state of my mind. 
It is calmer. I have "been used ill ; and very wretched 
has the cruellest of disappointments, that of discovering I 
was deceived by a person in whom I trusted with all the 
confidence of the most perfect esteem, made me ; still 
the consciousness that my conduct — for I governed my 
thoughts as well as my actions — merited a very different 

return from ■. Self-respect seems to promise 

me that internal satisfaction on which alone true happiness 
is built. I have sent you my last publication ; and I 
would give you a more circumstantial account of my situ- 
ation, had I time at present, in order to induce you to be 
equally explicit with me. I am not apt to forget those I 
esteem; and in your fate I shall always take the most 
lively interest, respecting as I do the qualities of your 
head and heart. It would afford me the sincerest pleasure 
to hear that there was a chance of your being re-united to 
your family ; and I wish with all my heart that my good 
luck, if there be any in store for me, may throw me into 
the same quarter of the globe, for I am sure I should 
like, say love, Mrs. Rowan, and delight to see you both in 
the midst of your babes. Mine grows apace, and prattles 
away ; she is a motive, as well as a reward, for exertion. 
I neglected calling on Mr. Maxwell for some time during 
my residence in the country, and when my mind was in 
the most perturbed state ; I now hear with pain of his 
declining health. If, therefore, you should write to me, 
address me at Mr. Johnson's, bookseller, No. 72, Saint 
Paul's Church-yard. The bearer of this, Mr. Cooper, is 
a very ingenious young man, for whom an intimate friend 
of mine, Mr. Godwin, has a particular affection. By 
shewing him any attention you would oblige Mr. G. as 


well as myself ; and I am much mistaken if his counte- 
nance does not prejudice you in his favour, for it is the 
sort of one I like to see on young shoulders. 

* What do you think of the present state of Europe ? 
The English seem to have lost the common sense which 
used to distinguish them. 

" Adieu. Believe me your affectionate friend, 


[In a letter to his wife, Mr. Rowan sfives the 
following account of his first introduction to Mrs. 
Iinlay : — 

u On the day of the celebration of one of the numerous 
feasts with which this country has abounded, and which, 
whether it be to dispantheonize a Mirabeau or a Marat, 
are equally edifying and amusing to the nation, Mr. 

B , who was with me, joined a lady who spoke 

English, and who was followed by her maid with an 
infant in her arms, which I found belonged to the lady. 
Her maimers were interesting, and her conversation 
spirited, yet not out of the sex. B. whispered me that 
she was the author of the u Rights of "Woman." I started ! 
■ Wnat !' said I within myself, ' this is Miss Mary "Woll- 
stonecraft, parading about with a child at her heels, with 
as little ceremony as if it were a watch she had just 
bought at the jeweller's. So much for the rights of 
women,' thought I. But upon farther inquiry, I found 
that she had, very fortunately for her, married an American 
gentleman a short time before the passing of that decree 
which indiscriminately incarcerated all the British subjects 
who were at that moment in this country. My society, 
which before this time was entirely male, was now most 



agreeably increased, and I got a dish of tea and an 
hour's rational conversation, whenever I called on her. 
The relative duties of man and wife was frequently the 
topic of our conversation ; and here I found myself deeply 
wounded ; because if my dearest thought as Mrs. Imlay 
did, and many of their sentiments seemed to coincide, my 
happiness was at an end. I have sometimes told her so ; 
but there must be something about me of deep deception, 
for I never seemed to have persuaded her that I had 
merited, or that you would treat me with the neglect 
which I then thought was my portion. Her account of 
Mr. Imlay made me wish for his acquaintance ; and my 
description of my love made her desirous of your ac- 
quaintance, which it is possible may happen ; and until 
you can decide for yourself, repay her, my dearest friend, 
some of those kind attentions which I received from her 
when my heart was ill- at ease. Mr. Imlay was expected 
over here ; but his affairs keep him in England, and she 
is gone to join him." 

We may well suppose that to a person so cir- 
cumstanced as Rowan, in hopeless exile from all 
that he held most dear, and in the insupportable 
solitude and ennui of a great metropolis, the society 
of the lady to whom his letters have introduced us, 
would be highly appreciated, especially as he was 
one who could estimate female accomplishments ; 
and among the women, who, towards the conclusion 
of the eighteenth century, had by their learning 
and talents obtained celebrity, the name of Mary 
Wollstonecraft, author of the " Vindication of the 
Bights of Woman" stands not a little distinguished. 



She was born near London, in 1759, and early 
discovered a vigorous understanding, united to 
warm feeling, great sensibility, a romantic imagina- 
tion, and independent spirit.* Not being the heir 
of affluence, she commenced a day-school in conjunc- 
tion with her sisters ; and afterwards accepted the 
situation of private governess in the family of Lord 
Kino-sborouoh. She next sought the means of 
honourable support in writing for the press, and 
took a considerable share in the Analytical Review. 
While engaged in various literary occupations, she 
obtained the friendship of some of the most distin- 
guished men of taste and letters, of whom it may 
suffice to mention the names of Price, Bonnycastle, 
Fuseli, Fordyce, and Dr. Johnson. The French 
revolution was an event well adapted to excite her 
admiration ; and when Burke published his " Re- 
flections''' upon it, she appeared as its defender, and 
" in a strain of impetuous reasoning and eloquent 
indignation, combated the arguments of the great 
champion of establishments. " She next came forth, 
as her biographer informs us, " in the cause of half 
the human race, deprecating and exposing, in a 
tone of impassioned eloquence, the various means 
and arts by which women had been forcibly subju- 

* In her dedication of the " Vindication of the Rights of Wo- 
man" to M. Tallyrand Perigord, she says — " Independence I 
have long considered as the grand blessing of life, the basis of 
every virtue ; and independence I will ever secure, by contract- 
ing my wants, though I were to live on a barren heath." 



gated, nattered into imbecility, and invariably held 
in bondage." To wean her heart from an unfor- 
tunate attachment, and " to lose," as she expressed 
it, " in public happiness the sense of private 
misery," she went to France, and in the friend- 
ship of Helen Maria Williams, then resident in 
Paris, sought and found some solace to her grief. 
" At the house of Mr. Thomas Christie, author of 
a volume on the French revolution, she formed 
an acquaintance with Imlay, a native of North 
America, which led to a connexion that, without 
the forms, had with her all the sanctity and devo- 
tedness of a matrimonial en^a^ement." She seems 
to have adopted the sentiments, and spoken in the 
language of another heroine : — 

" Curse on all ties but those which love has made ! 
Love, free as air, at sight of human ties, 
Spreads his light wings and in. a moment flies." 

More happy had it been for her, had she acted on 
a more sacred principle, and said — 

Curse on all ties but those which heaven has made ! 
Love, light as air, when free from legal ties, 
Spurns all restraint, and honour's laws defies. 

Her experiment was to the last degree perilous, 
and proved, in its consequences, ruinous to her 
peace. Never let it be repeated by any woman 
who places the slightest value on her honour, her 
character, or her happiness. Imlay was a sensualist, 
and an ingrate, by whom, (after she had wasted 



her energies in managing his business, crossed the 
ocean for him to a foreign shore, and devoted to 
him her heart and soul, with a love " strong as 
death,") she was barbarously and ungenerously 
betrayed and deserted. Disappointed, deceived, 
wounded to the heart's core, ' ; her mind became 
weakened, her health enfeebled, her fortitude 
broken, her time and talents wasted, till despair 
at length seized her," and she determined to die — 
she sprang into the Thames, and, while floating 
down the current, was rescued from a watery 
grave. The tie between her and Imlay being 
now for ever dissevered, her mind gradually be- 
came more tranquil, and having at last recovered 
its composure, she found a congenial disposition, a 
friend, and a husband, in the celebrated William 
Godwin, author of " Political Justice," * Caleb 
Williams," and many other works of high reputa- 
tion, to whom she was legally married in 1796. 
Then might she be said to have found happiness ; 
but her enjoyment of it was destined to be short. 
After oivins: birth to a daughter, she died in child- 
bed, September 1797. Her husband wrote and 
published her memoirs in four volumes ; a work 
which the Editor has not had the advantage of 
being able to consult. The above facts are selected 
from The Annual Necrology for 1797-1798. 

Mrs. Rowan endeavoured to keep up a constant 
correspondence with her husband. But as her 
letters did not always reach their destination at 
the expected time, he felt chagrined, and in the 



grief of disappointment, charged her with coldness 
or neglect. In reply (January, 1795,) to a charge 
of this kind, she asks, " What circumstance could 
have induced my beloved friend to suppose I had 
renounced his friendship, which in every situation 
has been the chief happiness of my life. * * You 
well know the uncertainty of conveyance, which in 
prudence should have prevented my writing, though 
it did not, for this is the third letter I have 
written to you since we parted." She recommends 
him most earnestly to go to America, for there she 
may entertain a hope of joining him — a hope which 
supports her under every trial. As to the persons 
concerning whom he had been making every in- 
quiry, she speaks with prudent reserve ; and attri- 
butes to their influence over him all the political 
errors which had involved them in so much dis- 
tress. " As to that wretch, T says she, 

" God forbid I should ever have any intercourse 
with one who, by his wicked principles and artifice, 
has ruined those most dear to me. He may not, 
perhaps, have done all the mischief in his power ; 
but he has done too much ever to be thought of by 
me without horror. He is in town, and seems to 
be in a better way than formerly, as he has now a 
house. Pray never mention him to me, for his 
name brings to my mind a thousand things it were 
better to forget. — I have received your little ele- 
gant present, which, with the picture, is far dearer 
to me than the most costly ornament. The picture 
you wish for is at present doing, which is a source 



of amusement ; for while it is drawing, I fancy I 
am employed in what will give you pleasure." 
This letter dissipated Rowan's idle suspicions, and 
brought no small relief to his mind, as is apparent 
from his reply, dated March 20, 1795, and signed 
by his adopted name, Thomson : — 

" It gives me the greatest satisfaction to find the 
children are all with my beloved. This letter will pro- 
bably be delivered to my inestimable friend, by the sister 
of a lady formerly Alary "Wollstonecroft, now Imlay, who 
has unknowingly given me many a heart-ache, since I 
had the pleasure of being acquainted with her. There is 
an avowal for you ! was ever any thing so impertinent ? 
Yes, she has made my heart ache, when she has persisted 
that no motive upon earth ought to make a man and wife 
live together a moment after mutual love and regard 
were gone. Now ill-usage and neglect naturally destroy- 
ing the strongest attachment, I could not help reflecting 
that I was not to be pitied, because I deserved the fate 
which I then thought had befallen me. I at last told 
her my supposed situation, and she said that if I painted 
you right, she thought I had no reason to be alarmed ; 
for that when a person whom we have loved was absent, 
all the faults he might have were diminished, and his 
virtues augmented in proportion ; and her prophecy has 
been true, and you have fulfilled it by the kind, affec- 
tionate letters you have sent me ; all of which, except 
one, have come to hand safe ; and I am now as happy as 
a man can be, whose dearest, and almost his only comfort 
is withheld from him, at least for some time. My last 
letter was written in my usual querulous style ; but here- 
after you shall never hear of an apron-string ; it sball be a 



chain mental and invisible ; in token of which I sent to 
you that which you term an elegant present. I have 
bought a watch for G. M. which shows the hours on one 
face, and the day of the month, day of the week, and 
name of the month on the other face ; Mrs. Imlay will 
take it over. You see, however, how dangerous it is to 
let me be too rich. * * * I do not know what to say 
on the subject of America, for although you are my only 
treasure, and that like the miser, I would feast my eyes 
with it every hour of my existence, and ever think those 
lost which are separated from you ; yet I cannot request 
that you would change your situation, unless all hopes 
of our meeting otherwise were- precluded, and even then 
is there no sj)ot which would not cost you the same pain 
to go to, and would equally keep me out of harm's way ? 
* * Do you remember an old Irish curate ? he is alive 
and well, and walked into town to see me. His brother was 
robbed and murdered in the house with him ; he then left 
both it and the curacy, which w r as about six months since, 
very fortunately for him. * * How gratefully do I feel to 
H. J. for his kindness to you ! I yesterday saw in a 
shop a boy so like our William, that I could have almost 
caught him in my arms and kissed him ; he was some- 
what taller and a little yellower. I was buying a pair of 
shoes for my passage, and I am sure I paid too much for 
them ; but I could not make my bargains. — And so, 
Madam, you say that a certain picture was never asked 
for so kindly, or with so much affection, before. Well ! 
be it so, though I am not convinced of the fact ; I will 
be inclined to believe it, when I see that it finds its way 
so as to hold me a little converse on the passage ; how- 
ever, the dread of its being lost prevents my desiring it to 
meet me, as without any risk it can be sent to Messrs. 


Twamley and Co. Philadelphia. I shall embark in the 
very first ship that sails after my arrival at the sea-port, 
without regarding for what port the vessel is bound ; and 
in this I am sure I am right, so many things fall out be- 
tween the cup and the lip, and this is not to be left to 
hazard. Let me assure my dearest love, that the greatest 
happiness I have in the world is her affection, which I 
shall ever strive to repay. 


Mr. Rowan, while in Paris, was naturally anxi- 
ous to know the fate of Jackson, with whom he 
had been a fellow-prisoner, and how Tone and his 
compeers were proceeding in their political projects. 
From Mrs. Rowan, however, he obtained small 
gratification on these topics. She wished to divert 
his mind from public concerns altogether ; and in 
her letters, which were frequent and copious, she 
enlarges on the imprudence of discussing political 
questions in his situation, and the danger to which 
it would expose their most earnest hopes and wishes, 
should he be found again intermeddling with the 
affairs of Ireland. That she should express herself 
strongly in regard to T. (Tone), as the reader may- 
have remarked in an extract quoted from her cor- 
respondence, is only what might be expected from 
a lady of her excellent understanding. Though 
warmly attached to the principles of rational and 
constitutional liberty, she never could carry her 
ideas to such extravagant lengths as Tone declared 
he had in contemplation, viz. " to subvert the 



tyranny of (what lie called) an execrable govern- 
ment, to break the connection with England, and 
to assert the independence of his country ;" objects 
to which, had there been any just reason for at- 
tempting their accomplishment, he was totally in- 
competent. Volatile and frivolous, " and eternally 
surrounded by the mist of visionary speculations," 
he was ill adapted to gain the confidence of minds 
more intelligent than his own ; and the conse- 
quence was, as he himself acknowledges, that he 
had very little sway among the United Irishmen, 
though he was the originator of their society. 
" The club was scarcely formed," he says, " before 
I lost all pretensions to any thing like influence in 
their measures. * * I soon sunk into obscurity in 
the club." Sir Jonah Barrington informs us that 
Tone was called to the Irish bar ; but had been 
previously over-rated, and did not succeed. He 
was too light and visionary ; and as for law, was 
quite incapable of imbibing that species of science. 
"It is my belief," says he, " that he could not 
have succeeded in any steady civil profession. He 
was not worldly enough, nor had he sufficient com- 
mon sense for his guidance. His person was un- 
favourable, his countenance thin and sallow, and 
he had in his speech a harsh guttural pronuncia- 
tion of the letter r" That he was resolved and 
persevering, and wished to die the death of a sol- 
dier, cannot be denied ; but wisdom and discretion, 
and an aptitude of adjusting means to the end, are 
more requisite than animal courage for the conduct 



of such great designs as those for which Tone 
sacrificed his life. He seems, like many of his 
contemporaries, not to have considered, that there 
is a moral power in nations more efficacious in 
effecting salutary changes and improvements in 
governments than physical force. Mrs. Rowan, 
as a wife and mother, could not but regard with 
feelings amounting to detestation, a man whom she 
beheld as one who, by his cunning and address, 
had inveigled her husband and the father of her 
children to embark in schemes, which, after having 
brought him into imminent peril of an ignominious 
death, and driven him into exile, threatened them 
with the forfeiture of their property, and their con- 
sequent reduction from a state of affluence, ele- 
gance, and refinement, to a condition not to be con- 
templated without agony. 

As for the unfortunate J ackson, he lay in prison 
more than a year, and endeavoured to lessen the 
tedium of confinement with a wish, we may hope, 
to benefit society and serve the cause of religion, 
by writing an answer to Paine's " Age of Reason." 
At length he was brought j;o trial for high treason, 
and found guilty, principally on the evidence of 
Cockaine. Shrinking from the shame of a public 
execution, he resolved, by suicide, to anticipate the 
stern minister of law. " I was in the court," says 
Sir Jonah Barrington, "when Mr. Jackson was 
brought up to receive sentence of death ; and I be- 
lieve whoever was present must recollect it as one 
of the most touching scenes which appeared during 



that eventful period. He was conducted into the 
usual place where prisoners stand to receive sen- 
tence. He was obviously much affected as he 
entered ; his limbs seemed to totter, and large 
drops of perspiration rolled down his face. He 
was supposed to fear death, and to be in great 
terror. The judge began the usual admonition be- 
fore he pronounced sentence. The prisoner seemed 
to regard it but little, appearing abstracted by in- 
ternal agony. This was still attributed to appre- 
hension. He covered his face, and seemed sinking. 
The judge paused ; the crowd evinced surprise ; 
and the sheriff, on examination, declared the pri- 
soner too ill to liear his sentence. Meanwhile the 
wretched culprit continued to droop ; and at length, 
his limbs giving way, he fell ! A visitation so 
unexampled created great sensation in the court. 
A physician was immediately summoned ; but too 
late ; Jackson had eluded his denouncers, and was 
no more.'" 

" It was discovered, that previous to his coming 
into court, he had taken a large quantity of arsenic 
and aquafortis mixed in tea. No judgment, of 
course, was pronounced against him. He had a 
splendid funeral ; and, to the astonishment of 
Dublin, it was attended by several members of 
parliament and barristers ! A Mr. Tighe, and 
Counsellor Richard Guinness were amongst them.'" 
—Vol. ii. pp. 121, 122. 

Mr. Rowan kept a journal for Mrs. Rowan, of 
his passage to America, which being long and 



tedious, afforded him much time for reflection, 
though he suffered no small annoyance from some 
of his fellow-passengers. These were a Creole lady 
of St. Domingo, who was always eating, or sp — ng, 
singing, or crying ; a lubberly, impertinent son, 
about eighteen, whom he designates by the name 
of Lumpkin ; a daughter of about twelve ; and a 
maid, who was much better pleased to be attended 
by the sailors than to attend her mistress : a ci- 
devant, as she styled herself, with two daughters 
who played on the harp, but could neither read nor 
write :* an old captain of a merchant-man ; and 
a wealthy couple, with a young child, and a maid : 
also a youth, of about fourteen, whom Mr. Rowan 
took under his protection, on account of their mu- 
tual friend Mr. Russell, whose house had been 
burned by the Birmingham rioters at the same 
time as Dr. Priestley's, and who, when emigrating 
to America, had been captured, and kept in prison 
till after the death of Robespierre. He describes 
the ship Columbus as stout, but one of the worst 
sailors on the Atlantic ; a character which she 
sustained by the length of time she took to com- 
plete her voyage. As the cabin was much crowded, 
he preferred the steerage, where he messed with 
the captain ; " and here," says he, " I have my 

* Mr. Rowan having seen much to disgust him in the conduct 
of this woman, asks, " If she be a fair sample of the aristocracy 
of France, can we be astonished at the dreadful chastisement 
which the Almighty has permitted to fall on their heads ?" 



cot slung in the middle ; my dejune, writing-box^ 
and trunk, on the one side ; on the other, my two 
camp chairs and a little writing-table, where I am 
now seated writing to my love. Young Lumpkin 
has made frequent intrusions ; and indeed my fence 
is not a strong one, although it is the English flag- 
hung across some hand-spikes. At length I wrote 
upon a piece of paper, which I pinned up against 
it, c Bespectez les proprietes? which, with the addi- 
tion of the word ' nationales? is written over the 
gates and upon the walls of the houses of all those 
whose estates have been confiscated in France ; and 
since that time I enjoy my corner to myself and my 
dog Charles, to whom I have before introduced you." 

In recurring to the past, he acknowledges and 
laments his errors. " I own to you candidly, when 
it is of no avail, that my ideas of reform, and of 
another word which begins with the same letter, are 
very much altered by living for twelve months in 
France ; and that I never wish to see either the 
one or the other procured by force. I have seen 
one faction rising over another and overturning it ; 
each of them in their turn making a stalking-horse 
of the supremo power of the people, to cover public 
and private massacre and plunder ; while every 
man of virtue and humanity shuddered and skulked 
in a disgraceful silence. I hope the party which 
was in power when I left Paris will conduct itself 
better, and profit by experience. I know, however, 
some very good men who have their doubts. You 
know there were some lengths to which I never 


went ; and I am sorry to find your opinion of one 
who did, so bad." 

We had been two days at sea when we were 
brought to by a British frigate, the Melampus. The 
officer who boarded us examined the ship's papers, 
and went into the hold with the captain. On return- 
ing to the quarter deck, he accosted me, saying, 
" Your name is Thomson, sir ; I understand this 
cargo belongs to you." I answered, " Only a part." 
He asked me from what part of America I came. 
I replied, " From Charleston ; but going to settle 
in Philadelphia." I mentioned South Carolina, as 
from the visit I had formerly paid that province 
with Lord Charles Montagu, I was the better 
able to answer any further questions he might put 
to me. However, he only asked me a few general 
questions concerning the state of France, and how 
the French passengers who were on board had 
procured permission to leave the country. I told 
him what appeared to me to be the fact ; that 
having opened nearly all the prisons, a scarcity of 
bread in the towns made it desirable to get rid of 
as many discontented mouths as they could, and 
our cargo was chiefly aristocratic. We were now 
up under the stern of the vessel, and I retired to 
the cabin, which I thought it most prudent to do, 
as I found that the ship he belonged to was com- 
manded by my old Cantab friend, Sir J ohn Borlase 

* It is stated in the Quotidienne, as quoted in the newspapers, 
N 2 



June 7th. I recommence, as usual, during a 
calm which has succeeded six days of very tem- 
pestuous weather. We have kept much to the 
northward, in order to avoid the Algerines, who, 
we understand, have been set on by the British 
court to cruize against the Americans. 

June IStli. Since I last had the pen in hand, 
we have had nothing but foul winds or calms. 

that the celebrated Prince Talleyrand had a similar adventure, 
in somewhat similar circumstances : — "In 1792, when the cele- 
brated diplomatist, then a secret agent from some parties in 
France, was compelled to quit London in twenty-four hours, he 
embarked on board a Danish vessel, which was to convey him to 
the United States. At sea the vessel met with an English frigate, 
which made a signal to her to lie to, and sent an officer in a boat 
to inspect her, the principle of England in time of war being, 
that a neutral flag protects neither persons nor goods of a hostile 
power. Talleyrand, who had an insuperable dislike to be taken 
back to England, implored the Danish captain not to declare him, 
and the officer could devise no other expedient than to pass him 
off as the ship's cook. After some wry faces, Talleyrand con- 
sented to the captain's proposal, and with a very ill grace as- 
sumed the cotton cap, kitchen-apron, and carving-knife, and 
other appendages in keeping with his new office. When the 
English officer boarded the vessel, and demanded in the usual 
terms if there were any French officers on board, the captain re- 
plied boldly that there was " only one poor devil of a limping 
French cook," who being immediately called on for inspection, 
Talleyrand made his appearance, saucepan in hand, and with 
such a piteous countenance, that the English officer laughed 
heartily, and consented not to make a capture of him. M. Wa- 
tersdorf, the Danish ambassador under Buonaparte, is said to 
have been acquainted with this anecdote, and to have invariably 
brought it on the tapis whenever he felt a grudge against the 
ex-Bishop of Autuu." 



When this lump of a Columbus will carry us in, 
God only can tell. These days, however, have not 
been without their occurrences. Tony Lumpkin 
has been rambling in the night, and the captain 
having detected him at the cabin of his friend's 
daughter, sent him to his birth with a little more 
than a flea in his ear. 

June 2±th. About ten days of contrary winds, 
or of gusts, which would have been favourable, had 
they not been so heavy that we could not profit by 
them. The cap of the main-mast having given 
way, we dared not carry more than a reefed topsail 
for about a fortnight. I have suffered dreadfully 
with the lumbago. The person with a wife and 
child, whom I mentioned before, belongs to the 
island of G-uadaloupe. He and I are the only 
two that are ever seen with a book or a pen in the 
hand, and the rest ludicrously call us the two phi- 
losophers. Besides the letter which I am writing 
to my beloved, I have other occupations. I amuse 
myself translating different pamphlets which I 
brought with me, and I have copied one out for 
you ; it is the speech of Madam Roland before the 
revolutionary tribunal. The picture which has 
been iriven me of her person in Paris, resembles 
you extremely. She had the highest esteem and 
regard for Roland ; but she did not love him. 
She had even determined to profit by the laws of 
divorce, and would have been united to a mem- 
ber of the Convention, who was proscribed on the 
31st of May by Robespierre's party, but has been 



so fortunate as to escape. It is said that Lanthenas 
is the name of that person. Besides this occupa- 
tion I am a sempstress, and have made myself near 
a dozen pair of socks, besides mending shirts, stock- 
ings, trowsers, &c. We have now no appearance 
of land or any thing like it, and all our provisions 
are coming very short, except bread, of which for- 
tunately there is plenty on board. According to 
Captain Dillon's account, I think we shall always 
have foul weather ; for he says that " as soon as 
you get into the latitude of the Western Islands, 
bad weather ! as soon as you are in the parallel of 
their longitude, bad weather ! as soon as you get 
into the longitude of Bermuda, bad weather ! as 
soon as you are in the Gulf Stream, bad weather ! 
and to crown the whole, frequent gusts when you 
are on soundings ™ 

June 28th. This day, early in the morning, a 
sail was perceived ahead, and the captain, whose 
reckoning brings us much nearer to land than any 
other symptoms seem to indicate, resolved to speak 
her. As she was directly ahead, we went nothing 
out of our road, and were extremely pleased to find 
that we gained on her considerably. About ten 
o'clock the captain, upon looking through his glass, 
said he wondered what the devil she was about, for 
that her sails were in the utmost confusion ; at 
last he concluded that she was a cruiser whose des- 
tination was to remain upon soundings, on the 
edge of which he supposed himself to be, and that, 
perceiving we shaped our course towards her, she 



was lying to for us. Soon after he perceived that 
she was not a frigate, and concluded her to be a 
whaler who had a whale alongside, and was occu- 
pied in cutting it up ; and her leaning much more 
on one side than the wind which then blew would 
occasion, favoured this last opinion. He next de- 
clared that he saw her colours up, and for the first 
time he suspected that some accident had happened, 
and that she wanted assistance. We now braced 
up the yards, and took all those steps which were 
in appearance called for ; but while this was doing, 
judge of our emotion, when we saw her gradually 
lean more and more, until, in the space of about 
half a minute, she entirely disappeared. The cap- 
tain cried out that she had foundered, and at the 
same time ordered every sail to be set, in hopes of 
saving the crew at least. The boat was unlashed 
and prepared for hoisting, when the men in the 
tops cried out that they saw a boat, in which three 
masts were rigged, and besides which there ap- 
peared to be a raft. This in a great measure 
allayed our fears for the safety of the crew ; and 
the captain said he hoped they had taken the pre- 
caution to bring some beef and water with them, 
for we had bread enough. I could not help think- 
ing the wish was somehow ill-timed, while we were 
yet so uncertain of the fate of the crew ; his 
anxiety, however, proved sufficiently that it was 
not want of feeling for their distress, but a proper 
foresight, which seafaring persons naturally acquire. 
As we approached the vessel, it was perceived by 



the glass that what was supposed to have been a 
raft, was the broad side of the vessel, which had 
overset, but had not yet sunk ; and what were 
supposed to have been the masts, were the yards 
of the three masts of the ship, which rose perpen- 
dicularly out of the water as she lay on her side. 
There was, therefore, no chance of saving any of 
the crew, except those who could either swim very 
well, or had clambered upon her side, or into her 
rigging, which, as there was only a light breeze, 
they might easily have clone. The captain now 
declared he could see but one man upon her quarter, 
which man was found soon after to be a wooden gun. 
Three quarters of an hour had now elapsed, and 
we came alongside of her. There was no boat upon 
her deck, nor any living animals on board ; some 
water-casks and empty chests were floating about ; 
and the vessel, so lately the abode of man, was now 
nearly under water. All this caused melancholy 
reflections. Finding that no assistance could be 
given, the next thought on board was, whether any 
thing could be made by her ; but a fresh breeze 
springing up, and we having but one boat, it was 
determined to leave her where she was, though not 
without some little reluctance, as you may believe, 
when you hear that they estimated they might 
have got at least the value of five hundred pounds 
out of her. She appeared perfectly new, in excel- 
lent order, and had sixteen ports, but no name on 
her stern. She appeared to be a Spaniard, Dane, 
or Swede. 



The wind which, now blows, if it continues, 
will, they say, bring us in with the land im- 
mediately. The if in the above line was well 
inserted, for the most violent gust of wind I ever 
felt did not equal the storm which commenced a 
few hours after we parted from the wreck. It 
lasted about eight hours, during the greater part 
of which time our sails were furled, and we drove 
before the wind. The poor people who belonged to 
the ship we left, must have good fortune if they 
escaped the horrors of that night ; Grod send they 
may ! You may recollect my saying, that two 
circumstances had in my life made an effect upon 
me, which I had never felt at any other time, and 
could not attempt to describe : these were, the first 
person whom I saw executed, and the first balloon 
I ever saw go up with man. The emotion which I 
felt on seeing the ship go down, as I thought, w T as 
exactly similar. I ran down between decks, and 
Tony Lumpkin imagining I was going with the 
news, almost pushed me off the ladder in running 
by me, in order to announce to the females that a 
ship had perished in sight. All the passengers 
went up on the deck, and I was left alone, when I 
put up an ardent prayer to the Omnipotent for the 
safety of my dearest love, and almost swore that 
whatever should become of me, I never would con- 
sent ******* 

I sometimes fret, and am grown thin ; the 
clothes you last saw me in are now fully large 
enough ; I keep them as a memento. The only 
n 3 



thing I had which belonged to my friend, I gave 
away before I left Ireland — it was the gold me- 
morandum book. I fear that with all my friend's 
alacrity, she has not had information of my destina- 
tion long enough to have sent me that same picture. 
I have twenty schemes for setting it, if it be not set ; 
but I think I shall have it mounted to hang round 
my neck ; and instead of a crystal to cover the pic- 
ture, have it to shut up entirely, with this motto — 
" I avow my idolatry, but I hide my idol." As soon 
as I arrive in America, I shall make up a little 
package of presents. I fear I shall not be able to 
muster articles for every one of our little pugs. I 
have a gold pen and pencil, however, for William ; 
I have a very fine mother-of-pearl and paper lan- 
thern for whichever of the ladies is mamma's mes- 
senger ; and this, I shrewdly believe, is Harriet, 
if she be not too fat. I have a little dejune for the 
corrector of my press, J ane. I have a gold-bladed 
and agate-handled powder-knife for mamma ; and a 
silver watch-chain, which William may give to 
Thorn if he pleases. In short, I have very little ; 
but what little I have, or ever shall have, will be 
never so well used, or so pleasurably destined by me, 
as to you and them. It is thus I sometimes amuse 
myself; at other times I curse my cruelty and 
harshness to you and them ; and with the most 
sincere sorrow I recollect that the last time Wil- 
liam came to me to say his lesson, I gave way to 
my own agitated state of mind, and sent him away 
in anger. But of what avail now to recollect all 


the little and all the great injustice of which I have 
been guilty. God bless you all i Good night ! 

July 4>th. We have this day spoken to a vessel 
from Europe, which has had even a longer passage 
than we ; and being in want of bread, we gave her 
some, and received in return some raisins, almonds, 
and a cask of anchovies, but no sugar was to be had. 
From this vessel we learned a melancholy piece of 
news : that about a week since, he fell in during 
the night with a long boat, which was overset, and 
which most probably was the one in which the 
crew of the vessel that we saw perish had at- 
tempted to escape from death. How short-sighted 
are mortals ! Two days of calm had probably in- 
duced the crew to quit the vessel ; whereas, had 
they stuck to her till we came up, they would have 
been saved. This vessel has spoken to several 
others, all of whom had very long passages. 

July 10th. This morning we struck soundings, 
very much to the satisfaction of every person on 
board ; but the wind is neither very favourable nor 
strong, and the same wind which would drive ano- 
ther vessel five miles an hour, would not move the 
Columbus above two or three. Captain Dillon has 
been extremely attentive to me indeed ; and has 
made me every offer in his power to assist me on 
my arrival, in case letters have not arrived there 
before me. Owing to the length of the passage, 
I have been obliged to partake of many of his 
stores which I did not pay for laying in. I there- 
fore have made him a present of my alarum watch, 



which he had taken a great fancy for ; but I must 
add, he was made to accept of it with much difficulty. 
We have got provisions out of three vessels ; and 
the one we last spoke to has advised us to keep to 
the southward, as there are three Bermuda pri- 
vateers which are cruising to the northward, and 
take and rifle every vessel they meet with coming 
from Europe. This news has been confirmed to- 
day, the 1 2th of July, by a vessel which bore down 
upon us, for the purpose of forewarning us. It is 
not very pleasant, if we remain much longer out ; 
and there is every appearance that we shall be out 
some time longer, for the wind, though not violent, 
is directly ahead, and has driven us quite off sound- 
ings again. I shall adopt the superstition of the 
sailors, and think Ave have a witch on board who 
ought to be thrown into the sea. These confounded 
French passengers will assuredly cause our being 
stopped, if we should be met by any English pri- 
vateer, independent of the piratical Bermudans. 
The vessel which spoke to us said she had seen a 
brier come into Charleston, which had been nlun- 
dered of every thing by these same pirates under 
English flags and English protection. When will 
nations learn better conduct I or when will the 
same morality which is the guide of individuals 
become the rule of nations I 

July l^th. We have at this moment almost a 
fair wind ; but it will take us at least two days to 
regain what we have lost by running out of our 
course ; and as we have never yet had any fair 



wind which lasted forty-eight hours, I own I have 
no great expectations from this little spurt in our 
favour. Good God ! how anxious I should be, 
were I returning to Ireland, instead of o*oin£ to 
Philadelphia, and leaving every thing I hold 
dear behind me ! I should count the hours and 
leagues with far other emotions than I now expe- 
rience. How happy would I be to compound never 
to stir out of the demesne of Rathcoffey, if my 
friend was contented to share the solitude with me, 
rather than expose her to even the disagreeable 
necessity of meeting me on the Continent, much 
less experience the various vicissitudes and disa- 
greeablenesses, not to speak of the dangers, of 
crossing the Atlantic ! . 

I could not help laughing just now at the cap- 
tain. You know the sailors are famous for ohansr- 
in£ one word into another. AVe w r ere talking of 
the consequence of our being taken : he said we 
should be carried into Bermuda for education ; and 
it was some time before I found out that it was 
for adjudication in the admiralty court, as to the 
legality of the capture. We have been upon 
soundings a^ain, and are a^ain taking that course 
which must drive us off. It' it w T ere not that the 
winds are plainly unfavourable, I should suspect 
that we were dancing about to prolong a scene of 
pleasure. It is fortunate that Ave picked up a 
puncheon of rum in the early part of our voyage ; 
for had it not been for that piece of good fortune, 
in which I think I have a right to share, I should 



be reduced to rain-water, well saturated with the 
tar of the rigging, and the dirt of the deck from 
whence it was collected, instead of my glass of 
grog. I shall, probably, write no more until we 
are within sight of land, for my packet is becoming 
too bulky, and God knows may never come to 

I had scarcely written the above when a sail 
appeared in sight ; and from its shape, rigging, 
and manoeuvres, the captain was certain that it 
was one of those Bermuda pirates. He bore down 
down upon us as much as the wind, which at that 
time was unfavourable, would permit. The captain 
and all the passengers began to conceal their little 
valuables as well as they could, and waited the 
event not without some degree of anxiety. How- 
ever, we were either mistaken in her manoeuvres, or 
our fears had made her course appear to be towards 
us, when in reality she was going about her own 
business ; for as the evening closed, we lost sight of 
her entirely ; and this morning, the 15th of July, 
we came up with a pilot-boat at break of day, and 
this evening we have fairly entered the river, and 
have land on both sides of us, and a fair wind. 

Philadelphia, ISth July, 1795. Here I am at 
a boarding-house since last night. The small trunk 
has arrived ; the contents of which are most ac- 
ceptable. Your picture is not spoiled, but has had 
a most narrow escape, for the crystal on both sides 
is fractured ; but it will be easily repaired. The 
addition of the hair, including my father's, was 


very kind, as was also the list of clothes, contain- 
ing almost all the letters of the alphabet. I shall 
at leisure spell them, and put them together into 
all the kindest expressions of our language. 

21st July. I have dined with Mr. Hey ward 
and his wife ; both extremely civil ; and with 
Major Butler from Carolina ; he is of the patriotic 
party here ; but as he is a man of good sense, good 
manners, and good fortune, he is respected by all. 
I am confounded by the various accounts I hear of 
Irish affairs. How often have I said, and to Wolfe 
particularly, that instead of prosecution and perse- 
cution, if they had a mind to destroy the United 
Irishmen, Volunteers, &c. they had only to do 
justice to the Irish Catholics ! 

My first residence in Philadelphia, [resumes the 
Memoir] was in a house where several members 
of Congress boarded and lodged. Among these 
were the senior Mr. Adams, who succeeded Wash- 
ington in the presidency, and Mr. Jackson, since 
then the President of the United States. It had 
been my intention to have waited on the President ; 
but being informed that Washington had declined 
receiving Talleyrand, I gave up that idea ; and 
having determined on retiring into some country 
situation, I fixed upon Wilmington, in the state of 
Delaware, about thirty miles from Philadelphia. 



Mr. Rowan received with kindness in America — Anxious state 
of his mind — Correspondence with Mrs. Rowan and Major 
Butler — Occurrence with the Mayor of Chester — Parties in 
Philadelphia — Resides with a farmer near Wilmington — Ac- 
quires the friendship of John Dickinson, Ceesar Rodney, and 
other distinguished men — Purchases a Calico Manufactory — , 
employs Aldred to manage the business — Removes to the banks 
of the Brandywine river — His house burned — Aldred puts off a 
settlement of accounts — Business declines — Factory broken 
up — Yellow fever. 

[Mr. Rowan, immediately on his arrival in Phi- 
ladelphia, found letters and parcels from his faithful 
and affectionate wife, and among them her picture, 
for which he had long been desirous. With her 
he kept up a constant correspondence, and lost no 
opportunity of consulting her on all his projects. 
He sought relief from his solicitude by making her 
the repository of his thoughts. Though eminently 
gifted with the power of gaining and attaching 
friends wherever he went, and though received in 
America, by men of the first distinction, with the 
most gratifying kindness and cordiality, he could 
not banish anxiety from his bosom. His want of 
useful occupation, his sense of dependence on the 
generosity of the friends he had left, of the injury 
he had done to his family, some disappointment, 
heavy expences, and occasional illness, added to the 


poignancy of his feelings, which he could not dis- 
guise, sometimes sunk him into a state of despond- 
ence. Though he most intensely felt the pain of 
separation from his wife and children, he was too 
sensible of the inconveniences that would attend 
their removal to America, to insist on such a step 
being taken. Sometimes, however, he thought it 
mteht be hazarded, and that an estate intent be 
purchased on moderate terms, in the improvement 
of which their days could be happily spent. The 
state of his mind is well represented by that of 
a well-known hero of epic song : — 

" Magno curarum fluctuat aestu : 
Atque animum nunc hue celerem, nunc dividit illuc, 
In partesque rapit varias, perque omnia versat." 

J£n. viii. 18 — 21. 

" This way and that he turns his anxious mind ; 
Thinks and rejects the counsels he designed ; 
Explores hhnself hi vain in every part, 
And gives no rest to his distracted heart." 


After suggesting what might be done as to the 
occupation of an estate in America, he writes, 
" Were it not the terrors of the sea, I would to 
God you were out here. The changes of climate 
from heat to cold are certainly to us, Europeans, 
very terrible ; but, upon the whole, it is a fine 
country, and there are great opportunities of set- 
tling a young brood ; and although expensive, we 
could get some place in the country, and be very 



happy." Again he adds, " If you are not dis- 
posed to do this, tell me in what town of Europe I 
shall meet you and my dear children, and I will 
not be long in getting there ; for here alone I will 
not stay, unless I can do something to benefit those 
whom I have hitherto only injured*" 

" Philadelphia^ August 1, 1795* 

" Mr. Tone has bought an hundred acres of ground. 
The situation is pleasant, and within two or three miles 
of Princetown, where there is a college and some good 
society. Tandy arrived here about a fortnight or three 
weeks since ; he has got a lodging in the same house 
with me, and of course we mess together ; but I need 
not tell you that his society does not make up for what I 
have lost, never, perhaps, to regain. I have seen but one 
handsome woman since I came here ; and she is from 
Shropshire, and something like the wife of A. H. Rowan. 

" August 6. My situation is irksome. The house I 
am in is crowded by captains of ships and English riders, 
each more impertinently inquisitive tban the other. Major 
Butler has been very obliging, and is assisting me all in 
his power to get into a private family. I will not stay in 
America. As to your coming out here, climate, manners, 
the exorbitant rate of every thing, the dangers of the sea, 
the want of education for the children, all forbid it. 

" September 7th. Had I landed in such weather as 
we have now had for a few days, I should not, perhaps, 
have written to you in so dispiriting a style as I did con- 
cerning America, and your joining me here. However, 
I am not now going to make its eloge. The people say 
that the heat has been greater (it was for two days within 



one degree of blood-heat,) than the oldest persons had 
remembered.* Tone seems determined to return ; and 
Reynolds wishes it sincerely, but amuses himself with the 
politics of America, and is as busy, as sincere, and as 
zealous as he was in Kilmainham. He has also some 
practice, which relieves his mind. The governor of this 
State has been very polite ; I have been twice out at his 
country-house ; and he took me yesterday evening down 
the river to shoot reed-birds, f You have heard me speak 
of the rice-bird of Carolina ; this is equally delicious. 
There is a museum here, which, as it is in the State 
house, I took to be national, and it gave me a most horrid 
idea of the country, not from the few curiosities, but from 
their dirty, careless arrangement. I have since found that 
it belongs to an individual, to whom the State gives the 
use of the room, and he receives a quarter dollar from 
each visitor. The library is handsome enough. General 
Washington now lives at times in the town. There were 

* In a subsequent letter he says, " The climate here partakes, 
in the twenty-four hours, of all the degrees of heat and cold be- 
tween the equator and the pole." 

f Emberiza Oryzivora. — Wilsox. " Though small in size, he 
is not so in consequence ; his coming is hailed by the sportsman 
with pleasure ; while the careful planter looks upon him as a de- 
vouring scourge, and worse than a plague of locusts. Three 
good qualities, however, entitle him to our notice, particularly as 
these three are rarely found in the same individual : his plumage 
is beautiful, his song highly musical, and his flesh excellent. 
These birds are supposed by some of our epicures to equal the 
ortolans of Europe. As soon as the seeds of the reed are ripe, 
they resort to the shores of the Delaware and Schuylkill," where 
they are slaughtered in multitudes. It appears from Wilson, that 
the rice-bird and reed-bird are the same, in different stages of 
their age and plumage. — Ed. 



in his hall the busts of the King and Queen of France ; 
but upon Genet, the French minister, complaining of the 
offensive sight, * whenever he went to wait on the Presi- 
dent, they were removed. A bust of Paul Jones alone 
adorns the stair-case. There is a petition set on foot, 
and distributed through all the states for signature, stating 
the infringement of the constitution in the late treaty with 
Britain, and appealing to the Congress to take cognisance 
of it in the name of the people." 

" September 21st. I have met with more than civi- 
lities ; I have met with a degree of friendship here which 
I could not have conceived. The governor, General 
Mifflin, has been particularly attentive ; he says I am 
melancholy, and that he will drive it out of me ; that I 
am formal, and he will not be treated with formality. 
Major Butler and his family I have mentioned before ; 
as also Heyward's most kind offer of his services, purse, 
and all. The weather has changed considerably ; the 
thermometer fell thirty degrees in twenty-four hours. We 
now sit by the fire. Reynolds gets a little business, and 
is a great politician ; he will be a citizen of America 
shortly, as he arrived here before the enactment of a late 
law which prolongs the time of probation to five years. 
No wonder that the cap of liberty offended our folk, for a 
print of General Washington could not be sold here, be- 

* This anecdote of Citizen Genet, envoy from the French re- 
public, is highly characteristic ; being, as Tucker, in his Life of 
Jefferson, informs us, " an enthusiast in the new-born spirit of civil 
liberty, he was well qualified to cherish and increase the popular 
feeling in favour of France." But his conduct and his language 
became so offensive and insulting, and betrayed such contempt of 
the forms of diplomatic intercourse, that the American govern- 
ment were obliged to request his recall. — Ed. 


cause that cap was over it ; it had therefore to be erased, 
and a sun was placed in its stead. 


" September 19th, 1795. 

" The joy I felt at hearing my dearest friend had 
arrived safely at the place of his destination was beyond 
any thing of the kind I had ever experienced, for it at 
once relieved me from a load of anxiety which I was 
scarcely able to bear. Equal to my pain was my pleasure 
when the glad tidings did at last arrive, so that in reality 
I was repaid for my sufferings. Heaven grant it may be 
the same in all cases ; for to think that your being so far 
removed from me should be the source of pleasure, brings 
with it many unpleasant reflections ; but then I drive 
them away by recollecting that if we both live a little 
longer, we shall meet. While that hope is before me, 
I can struggle with any misfortune ; but were that taken 
away, all my fortitude would be at an end ; so you see 
your poor friend, like many others, ceases to be a heroine 
when the truth is known ; for when the heart is entirely 
engaged by one dear object, every thing that does not re- 
late to it is by comparison trivial, and may be borne 

We seldom act wrong without finding an excuse for it, 
sufficient, perhaps, to satisfy ourselves, but seldom any 
body else ; thus it is with you, my best beloved, for 
surely if you reflect for one moment, you will see that the 
trivial things you mention, if they had not been provoked 
by your own conduct, were not a reason for your acting 
as you did. The truth is, all your faults originated from 
your connecting yourself with wicked and artful men, 
who cared not for you nor any body else ; and did I not 



think you had been misled in this way, I should most 
certainly have a very different opinion of you from that 
which it is my sincere wish ever to retain ; and now, for 
mercy's sake, give up all ideas of reforming the state in 
any way, however peaceable it may be ; because it is really 
better for us to stay as we are, than run the risk of being 
worse, which would most likely be the case. It is a 
business with which you must never meddle, and of 
which I should have supposed you had been already 
sick. It is with the highest satisfaction I learn that your 
residence in France has so altered your opinions on poli- 
tical subjects. No person, indeed, who knew you well, 
could doubt that when you were removed from those 
whose interest it was to deceive you, both your head and 
your heart would lead you to see things, as you now do, 
in their true colours. It would have been well, most cer- 
tainly, had this happy change been brought about at a 
less price than it has cost you ; but all we can do now is 
to make the best of it. You say there are lengths you 
never went ; I should be glad, were it possible, to know 
what this means, because it is understood you went every 

length. The arch-deceiver, T , has quit the country, 

and it is to be feared he may go where you are. I think 
it my duty to say that, if this should be the case, you 
ought to avoid all connection with him ; and it is as well 
to say at once what is the fact — his friend cannot be 
mine ; his wicked principles and artful manners have de- 
stroyed us. There let a subject which I detest end. 

" I rejoice that you have received the picture, and long 
to know if you think it like. You mistake as to any of 
the hair being your father's ; for well as I know your 
affection for him, still I should not think of putting his 
and mine together. A few days after we parted, several 


hairs, whiter than age almost ever makes them, appeared 
on my forehead ; this, no doubt, was occasioned by 
sorrow,* for it soon ceased ; my maid pulled them out, 

and there was enough to have made a small plat 

I read most part of your long letter to my little friends, 
W. and J. He wept in silence ; but she, who is all 
feeling, threw herself on my neck and sobbed out, 

' Father does not forget us.' W. (afterwards Captain 

Hamilton) still continues handsome ; his height is five 
feet three inches, and he is strong in proportion. He is 
truly a good child, and very easily guided by me ; at 
least he shows much good sense, and a strength of mind 
I very much like. As for Jane, her mind and heart are 

both of the first order." 

" October 21th. I trust in heaven we shall yet be 
happy with each other. As to the confiscation of our 
property, it cannot take place before next month, at the 
very soonest, and on that subject my hopes are very 
good ; and I do declare that at this moment the greatest 
uneasiness and dread I feel are, lest you should come to 
Europe, or endanger yourself in some other way; so if 
you stay quietly where you are, and do not meddle with 
politics, which I am sure you will not, all will be well, 
and the moment any thing is determined on you shall 
know it. In my idea, you would be happier with 
Priestley than where you are ; Reynolds and Tone are 
not exactly the people you ought to make your constant 
companions; though there is no reason for absolutely 

* The sufferings sustained by Marie Antoinette, Queen of 
France, caused the hair on her forehead to become white as snow. 
She was only in the thirty-eighth year of her age when led to the 



shunning even Tone ; however, you ought to be aware of 

him, and I hope he will not again fall in your way 

Your letter to Neilson (by accident, I assure you, sup- 
posing the packet was all for me,) I opened ; I am glad, 
however that I did ; for had he got it, the contents would, 
most surely, have been in the N. S. (Northern Star) 
which would have been very improper. I shall therefore 
keep it, unless you absolutely insist on its being sent. 
The rest shall go as directed This is the third long- 
letter I have written, and you shall hear from me every 
opportunity, which is the less favour, as writing is now as 
easy to me as to yourself, and a great deal of my time is 
employed in it, for the agency is in my hands, and I am 
quite a woman of business. But as writing to you never 
was a trouble, but at all times a pleasure, I mention this 
only to show that I have exerted myself in every way 
that I could be useful ; and those very exertions have 
preserved my health and spirits. 

" 28th. Since yesterday I have read over your letters 
several times, and reflected on them. The irritation and 
uneasiness you feel and express, strongly brings to my 
mind the state you were in for some time before you left 
this country. The cause is the same — the people you 
associate with ; whereas, while in France, the company 
you kept, I have some reason to think, were people of 
understanding, such as Bingham and Mrs. Wollstone- 
craft, and the consequence was, you saw your errors, and 
were anxious to do any thing that might alleviate the 
sufferings of your family and restore them to you ! You 
were melancholy, but not mad ; and conscious you were 
acting, as far as in you lay, rightly, you looked forward to 
happier days with confidence. You do not use your own 
understanding sufficiently, from some error in your edu- 


cation or temper, but catch your opinions and ideas from 
those immediately about you. I am doubtful whether 
nature ever did intend you for a public character ; be that 
as it may, circumstances have made it highly improper 
for you to attempt being one now. Look not therefore 
for giddy applause from an im thinking multitude, which, 
in your situation, must be the cause of many unpleasant 
events ; respect your private character ; look only to that, 
and I natter myself you will again be as happy as can be 

expected in this world I have thus expressed my 

sentiments pretty freely ; but remember you called for 
them, and said that my not being explicit is the cause 
that you have so often acted contrary to my opinion. It 
would, therefore, not be right to avoid giving them, 
although it must always be distressing to me to give you 
the smallest pain in any respect." 

" Wilmington, Delaware, January \±th, 1796. 

" I do not promise to remain here ; indeed I cannot, 
disgusted as I am with the rough manners of the people ; 
the great expense of procuring those mental gratifications 
which are so superior to eating and drinking ; the uni- 
versal rage of money-getting ; and the decided separation 
of parties. But what can I do ? I must be mad indeed, 
if I entertained any hope of returning to Ireland. 

" I do not dread the scolding you promise me hi yours 
of the 28th, not yet come to hand. It is some time since, 
in one of my letters, I told you it was the manner in 
which I showed my attachment, and recommended the 
same mode to you ; so your anxiety that it should be 
announced to me was, as you see, unnecessary. You 




have asked me, do I want any thing ? and I have an- 
swered very ungallantly, although poetically, ' Man wants 
but little here below.' No, my dear, send me nothing, 
unless you order me to go to the woods and prepare a 
settlement : in that case, there is not a single thing of 
whatever size, sort, or value, that I would not advise to 
be brought out here." 

[In reply to Mrs. Eowan's letter of the 28th 
October, Mr. Rowan assigns various reasons, which 
it is unnecessary to detail, for that irritation and 
restlessness which incurred her animadversions. 
" As to my sentiments, 1 ' says he, " they have been 
always nearly the same, as far as I can remember. 
The fact is, that from education and principle, I 
was led to assert, and attempt to support a reform 
of parliament, and equal liberty to all religious 
sects. Association may have, and certainly did 
lead me more into active life than I wished, was 
fit for, or will ever, in any case on this side of 
eternity, fall into again. "] 

" Wilmington, February 20th, 1796. 

" It is true I have not been, nor ever can be, happy in 
America. But I see astonishing advantages to be de- 
rived from being here, of which I wish I could profit for 
the good of my family. Mr. Millar, the son of Pro- 
fessor Millar of Glasgow, who was introduced to me in 
Scotland by Muir, as a man of principle, is concerned 
with a Scottish company who have made a large purchase 
of lands here, and would be glad to induce some persons 
who were known, to be among the first settlers. Mr. 



Russel also has lands in another part of America ; but 
with neither have I made any agreement.* Now let me 
assure you, that I am acting quite by myself, and con- 
trary to advice ; for one wants me to remain in Philadel- 
phia, and another, to buy a small farm in a settled coun- 
try. But I will do neither ; I will go to the woods ; but 
I will not kill Indians, nor keep slaves. Good God ! if 
you heard some of the Georgians, or the Kentucky people, 
talk of killing the natives ! Cortes, and all that followed 
him, were not more sanguinary in the South, than they 

would be in North America I am just returned from 

Wilmington, where I was at two public dinners — that is, 
large parties of mixed company at private houses ; and 
last night at a little ball, where I was under the necessity 
of twice refusing the hands of two young ladies, who, by 
their uncle and father, had asked me to dance. After 
that, have I a right to complain of my situation in this 
country ? or, rather, ought not you to be a little jealous 
of your husband ?" 

" Wilmington, April 16th, 1796. 

" The name of Washington must ever be 

dear to honest and virtuous minds ; although I am of 
opinion that he was in his zenith when he was first elected 
President on the establishment of the constitution ; and 
that the first retrograde motion was his re-acceptance of 
the Presidency after his first four years were over. I 
have been introduced by the wife of a Dr. Logan (to 

* Major Butler made him a generous offer of 2,000 acres of 
unsettled land, on such terms as few, if any, who wished for a 
permanent residence in America, would not accept with avidity. — 



which couple I owe much kind regard) to her kinsman, 
Mr. Dickinson, famous as the author of " The Farmer s 
Letters"* and have been greatly pleased. He was bred 
to the bar ; since he has grown into years, he has adopted 
Quaker manners, but elegant withal. He is greatly op- 
posed to the late British treaty ; but he says he wishes it 
may be carried into effect now it has been ratified. 

" I tremble when you talk of this country ! I said, and 
I repeat it, it is a heaven for the poor and industrious ; but 
a hell, compared to any part of Europe, for any other 
rank of society. The clim; te, the manners, the state of 
society, the pride of wealth and ignorance, the great want 
of those conveniences which in Europe we find so easily 
administered to by the great population, which you are 
here either deprived of, or procure badly with great ex- 
pense, are all against idlers coming here. Yet I wish 
you out of Ireland ; I dread the moment when ignorance 
and despair, without any one to appease or keep down the 
storm, may burst from their shackles. But we will hope 
the best. It was with this view I mentioned some neutral 
power's dominion, where we might meet. Here, unless 
we incurred great expense, we should not only be disre- 
garded, but entirely deprived of all those comforts we 
might enjoy elsewhere. Major Butler gives his butler 
seventy guineas a-year ; he pays £300 for a house rather 

* " The taxes imposed (on the Americans) in 1767, called forth 
the pen of John Dickinson, who, in a series of letters signed 
' A Pensylvania Farmer,' may be said to have sown the seeds of 
the revolution. Being universally read by the colonists, they 
universally enlightened them on the dangerous consequences 
likely to result from their being taxed by the parliament of Great 
Britain." — Ramsay's History of the American Revolution. — Ed. 


better than yours, without stabling Every thing to 

which the hand of man is put, immediately acquires an 
exorbitant price ; nor can it be otherwise, when a labourer 
gets a dollar per day, and is fed into the bargain. 

" The son of the Marquis La Fayette is here. There 
was an intention of making a proposal in Congress to 
make a provision for him at the expense of the public. 
This was put a stop to by Washington, lest it should 
give umbrage to the British. This may be false as to 
the motive, but I believe it ; and believing it, could I 
have presented myself at his levee, the only place he re- 
ceives company ? 

" The influx of French has been of no service to Ame- 
rican female morals ; and you know the French from the 
islands are always the most dissipated. I came down to 
this country hoping to get a lodging in a house, where I 
was fortunate enough to be disappointed ; for there has 
been a death, a birth, and then a marriage, besides a run- 
away match, within these four months, in the same house. 
I can tell you nothing cf the American ladies, as I have 
seen but few. 

" Wilmington, April 20th, 1796. Circumstances 
which I could not foresee have rendered Philadelphia 

peculiarly irksome to me I find some malignant or 

ill-informed traveller has said to G. M. that I agitate po- 
litics here, which I know must not only make you think 
meanly of my sense, but also lightly of my love. I assure 
you, however, that, except on general topics, I scarcely 
open my lips. I had not been a fortnight in Philadelphia 
when two persons met me in a bookseller's shop ; the 
one lamented the infamous cruel treatment I met with in 
France, while the other congratulated me upon the cordial 
reception I had experienced there ; and each of these 



gentlemen had his separate story from one who had re- 
ceived it at my own mouth ! 

When I came down here last winter, I brought a gun, 
and expected to have some amusement from shooting ; 
hut one flask of powder is yet nearly full. I have also 
bought a boat, which I hope will not be so much money 
thrown away ; yet I must allow that I begin to sicken at 
having four miles to walk to it in the morning, and the 
same distance in the evening. It is not like my excur- 
sions on the Seine, where I could row the whole day, and 
_ be within a short walk of my bed at night. There are 
numbers of French at Wilmington, but they live entirely 
among one another, and generally dislike the Americans, 
who in every article, except money-getting, are noncha- 
lantes to excess. The American youth are the most ill- 
behaved I have ever met with, not to say ill-natured, and 
they do not improve much when they come to be men. 
The freedom which they assume, without the least inten- 
tion of being of service to those into whose situation they 
are making inquiries, or into whose company they intrude 
themselves, is most impertinent and insupportable." 

" May 4th, 1796. From Philadelphia, which I leave 

certainly to-morrow I dined yesterday at Major 

Butler's with the famous traveller Volney,* and like him 
much ; and should have waited for another party, of which 

* Dr. Priestley met with Volney in Philadelphia, and describes 
him as " the most self-consequential of men, but respected by the 
unbelievers.'" The Doctor having 1 got a copy of the " Ruins," 
made some animadversions on it, with which Volney was by no 
means pleased. " He replied in an angry pamphlet, by which he 
did himself and his cause no sort of credit." " His behaviour 
on the occasion has been that of a pettish child, and not of a 
man."— -Rutt's Life and Correspondence of Priestley,. 


he and the Duke De Liancourt were to be, had I not 
been taken out of town by another invitation with which 
I could not dispense. I am in good health ; but I have 
not spirits : I feel an exertion to be necessary for every 
thing I do ; and the only resource left nie, is to pour rny 
mind forth to you. Here again I am at fault, for I re- 
collect what evil my imprudence has brought upon you. 
Even the assurance of your love does not revive me. It 
almost darkens the light which your happiness would 
spread. For loving me you must and will be persecuted ! 
I am going on in the old tune ; so end with assuring you, 
that I must myself be devoid of every feeling of man, if 
my affection for you ever ceased, or can cease, in word or 
in deed." 

" Wilmington, Delaware, September 30th, 1796. I 
continue faithful to my boat ; but in this land of liberty 
nothing is understood of yours or mine in that way ; so 
that my boat is nearly knocked to pieces by those who 
want it to bring hay from their marsh, or onions from the 
Jerseys to market, or take sheep to the pasture ; nay, 
while I was washing her out, and preparing for a fishing 
party, a man carried off my oars and sail ! There may 
be liberty here, and certainly the lowest class, when in- 
dustrious, (for there are poor here as well as with you, 
but not miserably so) have a fine field to work upon for 
their advancement in life. Mr. Bell, one of the richest 
merchants in Philadelphia, to whom the ship that I sailed 
in belonged in part, told me he came into this country 
with only half a guinea ; he hired himself, or rather in- 
dented himself for two years to a master, who occupied 
him in sawing wood, but was generous enough to give 
him up his indentures upon finding a clerk's place. In 
this situation his master permitted him to drive a small 



traffic in groceries, &c. and this set him forward in the 
world ; but he has excellent sound plain sense, that sort 
of native wisdom, which is seldom so strong in any as in 

persons who have little or no education At this 

moment all the world is agitated by the election of a Pre- 
sident, in the room of W ashington. May they choose as 
honest a man ! But no man can ever command so una- 
nimous a suffrage. Mr. Adams, the present vice-presi- 
dent, and Mr. Jefferson, are likely to be the two can- 
didates ; and is it not a little remarkable, that all the 
eastern, that were the great republican states, are in favour 
of Adams, who not only wrote and voted for monarchical 
government, but since the establishment of the present 
constitution, which forbids all hereditary honours, brought 
into the house a motion to establish them ; while the 
southern states support Jefferson — themselves and he 
slave-holders, bat great republicans — and at the revolu- 
lution much less in earnest than the eastern states ? It 
is thought the votes will be pretty nearly equal. The 
president has, in the act of his resignation, given some 
offence, by a dissertation on parties, and as in that instru- 
ment he has defended his whole administration, he has 
left his opponents something to chew The revolu- 
tion in this country has done amazing good ; but I see 
the same attachment to the present constitution, and re- 
verence for it, with abuse of its opponents, or rather of 
the reformists, as exists in our own country in favour of 
the British constitution. Indeed I think it too young to 
brag so much of; and as you paid your guineas for Ran- 
dolph's defence, you will not think very highly, I believe, 
of the men who have been leaders ; except Washington, 
whose integrity and honour are unimpeached. 

" I return to my boat. I was extremely astonished at 



being broken in upon by a person who still further ex- 
cited my admiration by asking leave to take the boat. 
The answer was, ' Yes, with pleasure.' ' But,' replied 
he, ' she is full of dirt ; how shall I get her cleaned ?' 
By G — , he wanted me to go down and wash her out for 
him ! ! ! 

" The winter seems to be setting in ; the weather raw, 
cold, gusty, and even frosty. What various accidents 
have befallen the articles you so kindly sent out for my 
amusement ! An awkward fiddling Yankee has broken 
my walking watch ; another has sat down upon the poor 
camera and crushed its guts out. Should you persist in 
coining here, I again say, bring every thing at any ex- 
pense. Every thing is free of duty, when brought for 
their own use by persons coming to settle." 

" Wilmington, October 5th, 1796. Dollars are the 
grand object with the natives here.* They have to get 

* la another letter he asks, " "What would you propose to 
yourself in this country, where, if I had a child unchristened, 
whom I wished to be caressed, I would call him Dollar !" Mr. 
Rowan was precisely such a character as would be most sensibly 
struck by the prevalence of the propensity which he condemns, 
and which is by no means confined to the country in which he 
found it so largely developed. An American author, in a recent 
work entitled " The Old World and the Neic" observes not less 
truly than patriotically — " If we are a people eager for gain, 
though I have no doubt that this national trait is exaggerated, 
yet it cannot be denied that we are equally willing to scatter 
abroad the fruits of our industry. Meanness certainly is not one 
of our national vices. If we talk much about dollars, though 
really I cannot, in this respect, see much difference between us 
and other nations, except in the value of the catch-word coin, 
** un sous" in France, " un paolo" in Italy, " a shilling" in Eng- 
land, being about as conspicuous in conversation as " a dollar' 



them, and when acquired, they are as proud as Mont- 
morency. Butler's family are calumniated, because they 
do not associate indiscriminately. I do not say, however, 
that there are no agreeable persons to be found ; but they 
are so rare, and it is so nearly impossible to keep off the 
others, that I still think the woods the most eligible situ- 
ation. But the woods with a young family will not be 
fair towards them. My reason for mentioning Switzer- 
land was partly on their account ; we should be able to 
amuse ourselves, or retire. But will every thing remain 
quiet in Switzerland ? I am persuaded that in some of 
the Cantons they are only waiting to see the establish- 
ment of the French republic, to reform their government. 
My dread that our separation would last for ever becomes 
daily stronger : the last declaration of the French Direc- 
tory confirms me in it. How am I to join you ? and 
still more arduous is the question, how can you join me ? 
In the present state of affairs, both are impossible. The 
French are disgusted at the American government ; and 
if their arms continue successful, and the American policy 
should not alter, we may see this continent a theatre of 
war between the French and English. Both parties have 
strong advocates here. I think Mr. Adams will be the 
president ; and he is supposed to lean to Britain, as do 
almost all the members of the government. In the late 

with us ; yet if this unlucky word does roll with such provoking 
facility from our lips, where, I should like to know, does the 
thing itself roll so freely from the hand as in America ? Pity it 
is — for I care more for improvement at home, than reputation 
abroad — that something more of this boundless profusion of ex- 
pense could not be directed from its present course to the en- 
couragement of the arts." — Ed. 




elections, what is called the republican party have been 

defeated by the federalists A more severe charge 

than being concerned in the republication of the proceed- 
ings of M. T. might have been made against me, upon 
most plausible grounds, viz. the encouragement of deser- 
tion in the British navy, by giving a certificate and re- 
commendation to thirty or forty persons who said they 
had deserted from the fleet on this station. Luckily a 
gentleman in Maryland stopped the bearers and took the 
paper from them, knowing it not to be my handwriting. 
Having obliged them to confess that a school-master in 
this town had forged it for them, he sent it to me. This 
would have been a charming story for my friends in your 

island Poor Priestley has lost his wife. The papers 

say that he is invited to Leyden ; and from our conversa- 
tions, I think that he would accept of the situation, unless 
pecuniary matters oblige him to remain on this side of 
the Atlantic."* 

" \ocemher 1. Butler is as much disgusted with this 
country as every man must be who has lived in Europe ; 
and according to his account of his expenses, I think he 

* Dr. Priestley writes to the Rev. T. Lindsey, that the funeral 
of his wife took place on Sept. 19, 1796. He says to Belsham, 
" I know nothing of the invitation to Leyden, or of the Duchess 
of York's Unitarianism." The name of Dr. Priestley occurs re- 
peatedly in the correspondence of Mr. and Mrs. Rowan ; both of 
whom felt an interest in his welfare, which, it may well be pre- 
sumed, was fully reciprocated by the persecuted philosopher. 
"When the latter was about to embark for America, he received 
an address from the United Irishmen, containing the following 
passage : — 1 Farewell : but before you go, we beseech a portion 
of your parting prayer to the Author of good for A. H. Rowan, 
the pupil of Jebb, now suffering imprisonment." — Rutt's Life 
and Correspondence of Priestley. 



could live for one-half more comfortably, and in as good, 
if not in a better style, than he does here. It is not the 
soil or climate of Ireland that I regret, but the society. 
The aristocracy of wealth here is insupportable, for it is 
mixed with the grossest ignorance. In this indeed I should 
be better off than you ; for the men in general are more 
supportable than the women, although the latter do all in 

their power to make themselves agreeable Have I said 

that I feel embarrassed when writing to you ? It is because 
the life I lead presents me with few diversities, and I dwell 
too much, perhaps, upon the probable events of times like 
these, so black, so melancholy ! It is not the seizing of 
a few printers that will prevent the effects of the invention 
of printing, to which I trace the present posture of affairs 
in Europe. Knowledge has been much disseminated ; 
and there will be many theories and theorists destroyed 
before we arrive at that state of government with which a 
people ought to be contented, and which they ought to 
support as being of equal benefit to all ranks of society. 
I think this country is most free from speedy convulsion ; 
but here the law department is as much a burthen on the 
people, and the rich man is as sure to gain his cause, 
or to weary out his poor antagonist, as with you. There 
are about ten lawyers in this state, whose population does 
not exceed 50,000, and one of them the other day assured 
me he made £1,500 per annum. But what do you 
think of his patriotism, when he gives up at least £700 
per annum in order to serve his country in Congress ? 
It is true he joins the side that is uppermost, and which 
is not composed of the men who stood forward in the 
times which tried men's souls. 

" I have mentioned to you the two houses which I 
mostly frequent in this town, Mr. Dickinson's, and Miss 



Vining's. As to their families, Mrs. D. is an invalid, and 
seldom to be seen : there are two daughters — the eldest, 
they say, has a mind to become a preacher ; for they are 
Friends, as the Quakers here are called. You asked me 
for seeds ; but you do not say whether of shrubs, flowers, 
or of forest trees. I have a promise from Mr. Dickinson, 
that he will write to Air. Marshall, a kinsman of his and 
a great botanist, to put me in the way of getting some, or 
perhaps furnish me ; and I wish I may get them time 
enough to send by a ship of Mr. Barclay's. And now 
for Miss V. — eternally gabbling French ; she is never 
happy unless when talking of the Compte de Lucerne, 
the Due de Biron, and other French nobles who were 
here during the revolution. She wears rouge from her 
chin to the crown of her head, I believe, and is about 

fifty 1 have removed from my cot below stairs to 

a settle-bed above, which is the wonder of beholders, 
and will make me excellent brawn, if I should die be- 
fore the winter is over, for it is devilish hard lying. 

" November \Ath, 1796. Poor Hayward died a week 
since, and his wanton widow is gone to gather up his for- 
tunes. She expects about £30,000; but I understand 
her share will not amount to ten, as the widow, by the law 
of Carolina, can only inherit one-third, although he be- 
queathed the whole to her by his will. Did I ever men- 
tion how much he and she pressed me the first autumn I 
was in this country, to be of their family at Rhode Island, 
during the sickly season in Philadelphia ? I did not then 
know her character, which would have been a sufficient 
bar ; but at that time I was too much occupied in writing 
angry letters to my dearest friend, to think of any thing 

like parties of pleasure I send you a rather more 

elegant lonbonnier than the ivory one, which you may 



wish to make a present of. Perhaps our friend Griffith 
would make it acceptable to his wife ; but do as you 

Some family affairs of importance demanding 
Mrs. Rowan's presence in England, she arrived in 
Chester on Saturday, December 31, 1796, a few 
days after the arrival of the French fleet in Bantry 
Bay. There an adventure occurred to her, of which 
she gave Mr. Rowan the following account : — 

" On Sunday morning, after breakfast, I sat down to 
write to your father and Griffith. I had taken out many 
of my papers, in some of which the Chancellor's name 
was mentioned. Judge of my surprise then, when the 
man of the house came, and said Mr. Mayor was below 
and wished to see me. Without any hesitation, however, 
I desired he might be shown up. In he came, a poor 
old man, with white gloves, (he is a plumber by trade,) 
who seemed much more embarrassed than I ; two other 
men were along with him ; one of whom, almost the only 
one who spoke and had the manners of a gentleman, after 
making some apology, said that they requested to see my 
papers. I replied, I really did not understand what he 
meant. He said, he wished to examine my trunks and 
boxes, to see if I had treasonable papers in them ; and 
then asked if I had any such, or sealed papers of any 
sort. I answered, that I had no sealed papers of any 
sort ; and that I believed it was the first time it had ever 
been thought I was capable of assisting in carrying on 
a treasonable correspondence ; nor had I been treated by 
the government of any country, as if they looked upon 
me to be a person of that description. It did not require 


much sagacity to find out that this was a business under- 
taken by the corporation of Chester, of their own wise 
heads ; for the spokesman now declared that * it was a 
business Mr. Mayor had been very reluctant to under- 
take ;' to which the poor Mayor continually replied, 
1 very reluctant indeed.' They asked if I knew the French 
fleet was at Bantry before I left Ireland. I said, doubt- 
less I did. They asked, if I thought you were on board 
of it. I replied, they must be sensible that these were 
questions I need not answer ; but that if it would give 
them any satisfaction, I would that instant take my oath 
before the mayor, that, to the best of my belief, you were 
in America ; and I mentioned the date of the last letter 
I had at that time from you. I need not tell you that I 
have no papers that, on my own account, I cared all the 
world saw ; but I had several notes and letters from 
Griffith which I did not choose to lay before the corpora- 
tion of Chester ; for though I knew any one of them 
would have made my tormentors sorry for the trouble 
they had given me, yet to have avoided a trifling or even 
a srreat inconvenience, I would not have had his name 
brought in question ; yet I did not wish to avoid having 
my papers looked at, though it was plain I might have 
doue so. I had heard General Johnson named with the 
utmost respect, as Commander-in-chief there, and judging 
that he was the first man in the town, and a gentleman, 
I very coolly said, that though I had no papers of the 
nature of those they came to look for, yet I had most 
certainly private letters which I did not like to have read ; 
but that if General Johnson were sent for, he should, if 
he wished, see even' paper I had. This asking to see 
the General seemed still more to increase my conse- 
quence with the Chester citizens. As he lived in a house 



belonging to the hotel where I was, one of them went for 
him, and returned, saying he was not at home, but that 
when he came in he should be told I wanted to see him. 
Up they all three got to walk off, and up T stood and 
said, that as they had thought it worth their while to come 
to me at all, it was certainly worth their while to wait 
until General Johnson came ; but if they would not do 
this, I insisted upon their locking up all my boxes and 
taking the keys with them. This I did, to prevent the 
possibility of its being said that I destroyed any papers. 
Down they sat, looking very foolish ; and very soon after 
the General came in, with one of his aid-de-camps and 
my friend Hinchman, who was in a most furious passion, 
and talked loud and much in my defence. The General 
is a very old venerable looking man, and the first word I 
said to him, I perceived he was, unfortunately, uncom- 
monly deaf. While Hinchman and he were talking, (for 
the Mayor and his men had gone off directly,) I took the 
aid-de-camp, who was luckily an intelligent, and appa- 
rently a good-natured young man, to one of the windows, 
showed him some of the letters that were lying on the 
table, and in a few words explained my situation, and my 
reason for not showing my papers to the Mayor. The 
aid-de-camp explained every thing to the General much 
quicker than I could have done. I showed him also 
some letters, and he expressed much concern at the 
trouble that had been given me, and having wished us a 
pleasant journey, withdrew. I then sat down, and wrote 
an account of the whole business to Griffith, and he sent 
my letter to the Chancellor. On Monday morning the 
General called on me, to ask if there was any thing he 
could do for me at Chester; for that he was going to 
ride, but would not leave town without letting me know. 



Soon after this we set out, and reached our destination 
without any farther adventures." 


u January 14, 1797. 

" My dear Madam, 

" Finding the report that Mr. Rowan 
was in the French fleet had gained ground, I came to 
Dublin on Wednesday last, and called on the Chancellor ; 
but not finding him at home, I wrote a letter to him ex- 
plaining the cause of your journey, and inclosing your 
letter to me, dated 1st August last, which letter would be 
sufficient to convince me, if I had no other motive to 
believe it, that Mr. Rowan is incapable of joining in such 
an expedition against his native country. I wish very 
much that you would hasten your return to Ireland, as 
various foolish surmises are made, to account for your 

absence When you write to Mr. Rowan, I request 

you will desire him to send you an authentic document, 
signed by some noted magistrate, of his being somewhere 
in America on Christmas-day. The propriety- of your 
producing such a document, as soon as possible, was sug- 
gested to me by a man high in power here.* 

" I am, dear Madam, your sincere friend, 


• In reply to this request, Mr. Rowan writes — " I hope to get, 
and inclose it for you ; but the people here do not like swearing ; 
besides, Mr. Dickinson, the first character in this State, is of 
the Society o: Friends. I wish there was a society of rational 
Quakers, and I would join them." 



[As numerous false reports of Mr. Rowan's 
" sayings and doings" in America, were published 
both by enemies and mistaken friends, many of 
which reached his family, Mrs. Rowan became 
anxious to ascertain from other authority than her 
husband, how far they were to be credited, fearing 
that, from tenderness to her feelings, he might 
have concealed what it concerned her much to 
know. Accordingly she addressed a letter to Major 
Butler on the subject, at the same time requesting 
his candid opinion as to the expediency of her 
crossing the Atlantic. From him she received an 
answer in full accordance with Mr. Rowan's com- 
munications. He writes — " Your husband's every 
feeling — all his happiness seems centred in you and 
your children ; he thinks of nothing else ; he 
scarce speaks of any thing but of schemes for being 
restored to you ; it is the theme of all his conver- 
sations with me. He leads a recluse life, and mixes 
little in society." As to America, he does not en- 
courage the idea of her going thither. " Philadel- 
phia is as dear as London. The servants are the 
worst on earth. Land is cheap, and in the country 
living is reasonable ; but there is little or no culti- 
vated society."] 

Finding that the violence of party in Philadel- 
phia, and what appeared to me the imprudent 
interference of some of my countrymen in their 
politics, which it was almost impossible to avoid, 
I rejoiced in my determination of quitting that 



great and nourishing town, and went to board and 
lodge for the winter at the house of a farmer of 
the name of Armor, a plain honest man of the 
federal party, who lived on his own estate, about 
four miles from Wilmington. I expected that, 
during the frost, the walk back and forward would 
be pleasant ; but my disappointment was great, 
when I found that the early sun rendered the roads 
worse than in the most rainy weather ; and on re- 
turning home in the evening, until the moon rose 
it was totally dark, lor in those latitudes there is 
little or no twilight. 

[That he did not long continue to relish his new 
style of living appears from the following extract 
from his letters : — " Have I told you that I have 
at last found that I cannot with pleasure live for a 
constancy as an American farmer \ I thought I 
should never find one less troublesome in eating 
than myself ; but I do acknowledge that the style 
in which I have passed this winter, does not make 
me wish for another. Summer will do well enough. 
In the four or five months which I have passed 
with my farmer, I have not seen butcher's meat 
a dozen of times ; and as I have told you that ve- 
getables are here scarce and dear, you will easily 
believe we had none, except potatoes and Indian 
corn. I do not like the latter ; but it is an amaz- 
ing culture. Its progress is about five months 
from sowing to reaping, and it vields from thirty 
to fifty fold>] 



I now had the honour of being received at the 
house of a most valuable and sensible man, John 
Dickinson, who was one of the first revolutionists 
of that country, and filled the highest honours of 
the state during the revolution, but had at this 
time retired from the bustle of politics with a most 
amiable family. One of his daughters afterwards 
married Dr. Logan, who was a leading man among 
the republicans. I also contracted friendship with 
many other gentlemen in this town, of different 
parties, of whom it may suffice to name Csesar 
Rodney, as good in private as he was virtuous 
in public life ; during the time I resided in Wil- 
mington, he was a practising lawyer ; but his 
principles and talents procured him the place of 
attorney-general under Mr. Jefferson's presidency : 
Mr. Bayard, a man of elegant manners, a fede- 
ralist in Congress, and a senator elected by the 
same state ; and Dr. Tilton, a physician of good 
repute in his profession, and an old decided revo- 
lutionist ; from all of whom I received the most 
polite and friendly attentions. 

It happened that two brothers of the name of 
Jordan, who had been in the calico printing line in 
Manchester, had emigrated to America, -and estab- 
lished a factory on a small river about half a mile 
from the town ; but either from indolence or ex- 
travagance, they became bankrupts. They had 
expended a large sum on this establishment. It 
contained five printing tables, with all the appen- 
dages of calender, forge, indigo-mills, chipping- 


machine, turning-lathe, and a printing-machine, 
driven by the river Brandywine, which furnished 
a piece of one colour in about seven minutes. My 
Quaker friends in Wilmington, of the name of 
Pool, said, " Friend Archibald, thou say est that 
thou shouldest wish to settle among us, and have 
something to do : why shouldest thou not purchase 
these works f 1 My reply was, I did not choose, in 
such times, to risk the taking from my family so 
much money as the purchase must come to. The 
most zealous of my Quaker friends, however, urged 
the purchase so earnestly, that I gave way ; and 
those amongst them who were of the banking com- 
pany, promised me their assistance in furnishing 
the funds to carry it on, until the works were able 
to support themselves. As a first step, I agreed 
with a dyer in the town (of the name of Aldred), 
an Englishman, from Manchester, who undertook 
the management of the shop and men, and would 
make up the accounts every three months. In less 
than a year it was calculated it would be produc- 

[He announces his embarking in this business 
to Mrs. Rowan in the following terms : — " Wil- 
mington, March, 1797. You will find by the 
papers which accompany this, that I am no longer 
a gentleman, but a printer and dyer of calicoes, and 
yet I do not think I disgrace my family, unless 
industry be a disgrace. Indeed I shrewdly suspect 
that it is not the virtue which the proprietors of 



the world wish to make the poor believe it to be, 
in order that they may enjoy what they have in 

peace." "December 19£A, 1797. How interest 

sways men ! Some time since, when I was com- 
mencing this business, I advised with many of my 
acquaintances, among whom were various opinions. 
One, however, was decidedly against it. 4 It never 
could answer. , 4 There was no encouragement . , 
Some time after, I found that this person rented a 
calico printing ground to another adventurer. This 
person ruined himself and lost reputation by bad 
colours, a thing, by-the-bye, impossible to happen 
to us. If we dye, we shall go off without the jest 
of flying colours being applied to our work. And 
last post brought me a letter from this friend, 
making me an offer of the place, with an assurance 
from what he heard of the goodness of the work, 
that the manufactory, if settled there, would un- 
doubtedly 4 become of considerable importance.'' But 
I would not quit my sentry-box on the Brandy- 
wine, for any thing less than, at least, one of the 
new Italian republics ; and the fact is, that this 
spot is ten times to be preferred to his in every 
thing except vicinity to Philadelphia ; and we pay 
but i?30 a-year instead of ^140. The dispropor- 
tion between rents in this country and purchase 
money is amazing." A year's experience con- 
vinced him that he had engaged in an unprofitable 
business. He writes, 44 Since I was a manufacturer 
I have received about ^1350, out of which I have 
paid on account of the works about ^900 ; so I 



had much better have remained a gentleman, par- 
ticularly as there is owing to the bank the whole 
£700 borrowed from it, and several small accounts 
for drugs."] 

There was upon the grounds a hut, about ten 
feet square, which had been built by the original 
proprietors, for the cutters to work in. This I 
removed to a romantic spot on the banks of the 
Brandywine, and I built around it a piazza towards 
the river, and thither I removed myself and my 
dog Charles ; while I gave the dwelling-house to 
Aldred and his family. 

The first misfortune which happened to me here, 
was the having my house burned, by having left 
too much fire in the stove on Christmas-day, while 
I was at market.* A more serious one befel me the 

* A detailed account of this fire is given in one of his letters, 
dated, December 28th. He estimates his loss at 100 guineas. 
" Upon the whole," he continues, " this accident has been for- 
tunate : it has deprived me of many things to which I was too 
much attached, and for which I had no occasion. Providentially 
it happened in the day time ; had it baen in the night, Charles, 
Sally, and I would most probably have been roasted. I had a 
small library of about 200 volumes, chiefly French, some of which 
are burned, others he at present in the ice, and a few are safe. 
I much fear the poor trees which are on board the Liberty, for 
Derry, will suffer from the severity of the frost. The ice and 
the yellow fever will surely lower the rents in Philadelphia. I 
am assured that a degree of distress prevails there among the 
mercantile people, which seems incredible. Some merchants, it 
is said, cannot pay even the postage of their letters. In this state 
of things it is no wonder that we calico-printers look blank. In 
Philadelphia the jail continues to be the ton." 



next year ; for after carrying on the manufactory 
one year, during which time I could not get Aldred 
to make up the accounts, and that the last two 
payments to the bank had been out of my pocket, 
I concluded some alteration must be made. I 
therefore informed Aldred that I would discontinue 
the works next spring, if the accounts were not 
more successful. To this he answered, that the 
cause of this temporary failure was the prevalence 
of the yellow fever in Philadelphia. I then pur- 
chased some bales of muslin, to be prepared when 
the spring fleet should arrive from England. I 
ought to mention here, that the chief profit which 
this manufacture reaped, was from pirating those 
patterns which seemed to sell best, and stamping 
them on India muslin, which was finer, broader, and 
very little inferior in workmanship, and nearly one- 
third cheaper than those imported. Aldred still put 
off any settlement, on which I told him that he had 
better look out for some other situation, as I was de- 
termined on breaking up the works and paying my 
debts. He persisted that if continued, they would 
answer ; and at last bluntly said he was a partner, 
and would carry them on whether I would or not. 
This, I allow, alarmed me, and I went to my 
friends in the bank, and told them my situation. 
They asked me whether Aldred had brought any 
effects with him when he joined me ? and I men- 
tioned that my agreement with him was, that he 
should have half the profit on the printing, and 
the liberty to carry on his old trade on his own 


account, besides house, fuel, and the use of a cow. 
My friends said, they would settle that matter 
speedily, as they would the next day distrain the 
premises for the whole debt ; aud Aldred would be 
glad to be permitted to go away with what he 
brought to the ground ; and thus I got rid of my 
English partner. 

I now consulted with three of the men, who 
understood the different branches of the business, 
and they agreed to take their chance of an equal 
share of the profits instead of wages. I now kept 
the books, paid, and received, and in the first six 
months the dividend was very good ; but as the 
season advanced, to our discomfiture, when we ap- 
plied for orders, we found the generality of our 
customers had received intimation from the British 
riders, that if they found American prints in their 
stores, they must make up their accounts with their 
British correspondents immediately ; and this not 
being perfectly convenient to the American trade, 
we were left without work. The next plan was to 
print my own muslins, and trust to selling them by 
auction ; but this also failed ; for the printed goods 
brought little more than the white price, and some- 
times even less. Wearied and disgusted, I deter- 
mined to break up the works.* I then went to Mr. 

* He tried to dispose of the factory by auction, and announced 
it for sale in terms as characteristic of his own integrity as novel 
to the style of advertisements : — " Any person inclined to sacri- 



Lee, a Quaker, for whom we had printed a good 
quantity of cottons for South America, and offered 
him the whole of the goods I had on hands, at his 
own price ; I knew that he had a full stock ; but 
at length he consented to look over them. He 
said I had paid too much for the white goods ; but 
if I would allow him 5 per cent, on their price, he 
would dispose of them. I then sold off all the 
materials, &c. and retired with a loss of about 500 

During the time the yellow fever raged in Wil- 
mington, I was frequently in the habit of wheeling 
the flour from the mills there, to the works, in a 
small hand-barrow, and yet escaped the contagion. 
I probably owed my safety to the following circum- 
stance : — During that time I was much employed 
in trying experiments on a bleaching liquid, the re- 
cipe for which was given me by Thomas Cooper of 
Sunbury, late of Manchester, who, though he would 
have dissuaded me from the enterprize, yet gave 
every assistance he could in the execution of it. 
This liquid was from a receipt of his own ; a mix- 
ture of a certain quantity of vitriolic acid, salt, and 
sulphur, which occasioned a vapour like that which 
has been recommended for its antiseptic qualities ; 
and this, possibly, saved me from the contagion. 

fice his property by carrying on this manufactory in America, 
may have the whole for one-half the sum they cost, and imme- 
diate possession given." — Ei>, 




Letter from Muir — Yellow fever — Mr. Barclay — Robert Morris 
— Rowan goes to visit the British Minister — Irish slaves — 
Visits Kosciusko — House of Congress — Alien bills — Benighted 
on the Delaware — Upstart aristocracy — Federalists and Anti- 
Federalists — Reception at a public meeting — Extract from the 
Porcupine Gazette — Letter to Cobbett, interview, and explan- 
ation — M'Comb's character of Porcupine — Letters from Mrs. 
Rowan — her belief in Christianity founded on reason — argu- 
ments for and against going to America — attends lectures on 
chemistry — her heart and mind unchanged — Letters from 
Rowan — he wishes success to the Union — American newspapers 
— Visits Rodney in Albany — Springs of Saratoga — Shaking 
Quakers— Honesty of a Negro — Ferreting cat — Washington's 
obsequies — Dr. Priestley — Natural curiosities sent to Higgins 
— Mode of catching wild horses. 

" Wilmington, Delaware, February \0th, 1797. This 
moment I received a letter from Muir. He writes : — 
' I left Gerald in the last agonies ; Palmer will not live ; 
vou would not know Skirving ; and the state of Mar- 
garot's health is far from being firm.' He begs me to 
write to his parents. Willfyou either do so, or get some 
one to do so immediately on the receipt of this P to Mr. 
Thomas Muir, merchant, Glasgow. He got with danger 
extreme to New Spain, travelled across the continent to 
Vera Cruz, from thence got to the Havannah, at which 
place he was when he wrote to me, December 3d. He 
had left New Holland in the February before, and 
must, by circumstances, have reached Havannah about 
p 2 



the middle of November. He is well and humanely 
treated, though at present a prisoner as an Englishman. 
I wonder whether the body of an outlaw or felon belongs 
of right to his Majesty, even after natural as well as civil 
decease. You, by this time, know whether this country 
joins the coalition ; which I take to depend upon the 
issue of Lord Malmsbury's embassy." 

" September 30th, 1797. The letters which I write 
now to my family may be regarded almost as letters from 
the dead to the living. If some small portion of petu- 
lance now and then breaks out, you must attribute it to 
some impertinent questioning intruder, or to a mind af- 
fected by an intemperate climate. I told you in my last 
that I had offered to superintend the hospital tents of this 
town. I thought it a duty from one in my situation, to 
the country and to the people who have hitherto protected 
me ; but not having been called upon, I act like all those 
who are impelled by duty alone, without the zeal of affec- 
tion, and have not repeated my offer. The population of 
this place seems to have lost as many as Philadelphia.* 
Almost all the wholesale dealers have left that city. It 
would astonish you to see the low prices at which British 
goods are daily sold at vendues or auctions in all the 
ports. If some other country does not pay the manufac- 
turer, this, I think, would never answer, for it does little 
more than pay the materials. Perhaps this is policy, to 

* " The disease noAV first designated the yellow fever began 
early in August, 1793, and terminated early in November. In 
that time there were 4,044 deaths. In the second week of Oc- 
tober, when the disease was at its height, the number of deaths 
exceeded 700. The population of Philadelphia was then about 
50,000, of whom one-third was computed to have left the 
city." — Tuckeii's Life of Jefferson. 


stop a spirit of manufacture which was creeping into the 
country. Mr. Holmes has fled, but is well, I hear ; as is 
also his partner Rainey. I saw Counsellor Dunne once at 
his house. He has secured himself, I believe ; and I do 
not find that any one will lose by Mr. Barclay, who, in 
my opinion, is as worthy a man as ever walked ; and in- 
deed he is much respected, though blamed for overdraw- 
ing his credit at the bank, of which he was president. 
He has always been supposed to lean to the popular in- 
terest, and this has raised a host of enemies, who grossly 
calumniate him ; while Robert Moms, whose notes have 
been swindled into every channel that was open, and are 
not now worth a penny in the pound, takes the other 
party, is caressed and supported, pays £600 per annum 
house rent, keeps within doors, and, surrounded by blun- 
derbusses and pistols, defies all his creditors with the 
sheriff at their head, and dines on Sundays with Wash- 
ington ! The weather is now sultry in the middle of the 
day, but very raw, as we would call it, in the mornings. 
These changes give the ague. I do not know whether 
I told you that I had it last year ; if I get it again, I 
suppose I shall hold it longer than I did ; for it appeal's 
to make part of the constitution of an American, and I 
am very near being one now, for I begin to think that 
there is but one being upon earth, and that is self." 

" November 5th, 1797. Well, if people will but com- 
pliment me as they have done this 5th of November, I 
shall be reconciled to wearing your picture in the most 
prominent part of my dress, even were it handsomer than 
it is. However, the case is, that I am very seldom seen 
in any other garb than such as you have not often seen 
me in — short hair, no powder, and long beard ; but this 
day I was remarkably spruce in the Quaker coat you 



sent me, pomatumed and perfumed like any muscadin or 
musk-rat, which, by-the-bye, is a devilish mischievous 
beast in this country, and generally killed wherever he 
is fomid. I went to pay my devoirs to the British 
minister, who was going through this town, on a visit 
to General Washington. I did not, however, meet him ; 
he had departed ; and some of my democratic American 
friends abused me for an excessive politeness. I am, 
however, you know, obstinate as to what I think right, 
and did not mind them, but went ; and am really disap- 
pointed that I had not an opportunity of showing him 
how much 1 felt his polite expressions concerning her I 
love more than any other on earth. Were I to be as 
rich a calico printer as Mr. Peel, I would give up the 
whole for the society, manners, and climate of Europe, 
with a small annuity ; yet this is a fine country for those 
who can plough and dig ; but even they must take care 
to avoid the harpies who await their landing, and must 
immediately dash into the country. The members of the 
society for the abolition of slavery have not the least ob- 
jection to buying an Irishman or Dutchman, and will 
chaffer with himself or the captain to get him indented at 
about the eighth part of the wages they would have to 
pay a country born.* But to tell truth, they who are 
thus purchased generally do themselves justice, and run 
away before half their time is up. This, then, like every 

other abuse, falls hard only on the best subjects I find 

from a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, that Locke 
is given up there for a system of ethics composed by 

* In another letter he writes — " Swarms of Irish are expected 
here by the spring vessels, and the brisk trade for Irish slavex 
here is to make up for the low price of flax-seed I" 


Paley. I have read some parts of it, but not the whole : 
indeed it is some time since I met it, and I only recollect 
enough to beg that it may not be put into William's 
hands, to the exclusion, at least, of Locke."* 

" November 10th. If you were flattered by Aldred's 
attention, how much more vain will you be, when I give 
you, literally as I got it, the most sincere respects and 
regards of Mr. Dickinson of this town, and present you, 
in his name, with the inclosed list of trees, f in a box 
of about 150 pounds weight, which he procured from a 
friend of his, a famous botanist, and lays it at your feet. 
I had spoken to him long since, and thought he had 
forgotten it, but this day, while drinking tea with him, 
the box arrived, and through the polite attention of the 
Rev. Mr. Porter, who sails from this for Deny, in the 
ship Liberty, the latter end of this, or beginning of next 
month, and promises to take care of it on the passage, 
and either immediately forward it to you, or inform you 
of its arrival, I hope it will get safe to hand." 

" Wilmington, December 7th, 1797. My last jaunt 
to Philadelphia has been by much the least expensive 
and the most agreeable I have ever made. I lodged at a 
house with a Quaker merchant, not a thee and thou, 

* Adverting again to this topic, he says, " I wish him to know 
mankind before he is in the way of committing himself. I sup- 
pose he read Godwin's ' Enquirer ;' I like it better than his ' Po- 
litical Justice ;' but I repeat, no Paley, or else let Locke accom- 
pany it, as an antiseptic to work particularly against the latter 
part of the practical morality." 

t The list contains the trivial and scientific names of upwards 
of thirty different kinds. There were also many duplicates of a 
great variety of seeds Ed. 



though a plain man — and a Dutchman, who neither 
smoked nor drank gin — -an Englishman, a Londoner, 
who is the son of a rich merchant, and thinks paradise 
and London are synonimous terms—and an American, a 
young man who is just returned from Bordeaux, where 
he went as supercargo of a vessel ; and he is certain that 
London is no more to be compared to that place, than 
Appoquiniminck is to New York ! I saw Mr. Pinkney, 
and he was very polite ; but I own I did not receive his 
civilities with cordiality, for I recollected that he had re- 
fused to transmit letters for my best beloved, at a time 
when I figured to myself every possible evil having fallen 
upon her. Among my amusements at Philadelphia were 
two morning visits to Kosciusko ; he cannot rise from his 
chair, which I suppose is the reason that he bows very 
low, too low I think ; it hurt me, for one of the persons 
who was introduced to him while I was there, I knew to 
be a knavish scoundrel. He sits in an arm chair, his 
head bound up with a broad black ribbon, dark curling 
hair, sparkling eye, nez retrouse, his coat what we call 
Hussar, his legs bandaged, and the left one on a stool ; 
he cannot walk, but thinks he is acquiring strength. A 
gentleman told him while I was there, that it was sup- 
posed, in case any attack should be made upon the British 
territory, General Arnold would command in chief. He 
almost rose from his seat when the informant persisted, 
saying he had not left London above two months. " It 
is impossible," he cried ; " Arnold is rash, destitute of 
talent, and drunken. I was myself obliged to write to 
General Gates to order him out of the field." I said 
nothing, but thought it possible that he might serve 
under the Duke of Gordon in England, or have the chief 
command in Ireland, where there would be no great 


danger of his being bought off. But heaven preserve me 
from all such miscreants ! It was a fear of that sort 
which made me wish to have my only love on earth 
away from a devoted spot — a spot on which it is, and has 
long been my opinion, the fate of England will be de- 
cided. You know I always asserted the impolicy, as well 
as the impossibility of keeping a whole people in a state 
of subjection to a privileged few." 

" March 2d, 1798 1 have written to my father 

at Killileagh, and inclosed some letters on which £ re- 
quest yours and his serious advice I have also sent 

February's papers, that he may see a full and true ac- 
count of how the House of Congress is become a boxing- 
school ; the speaker giving challenges from the chair, and 
when taken up in private, putting the matter ' ad referen- 
dum', till the end of the sessions. If this is a specimen 
of a democratic republic, Lord help us sufferers in the 
cause ! 

" Mr. Fox's declaration, in answer to Mr. Dundas, is 
manly, and, I think, honourable. Would to God such 
sentiments had pervaded men in power long since, and 
things would not be in the condition they are. God send, 
even were they adopted, it may not be too late ! 

" I have told you often, and I repeat that the moment 
I can leave this country, without injuring my family, I 
will do so. As it appeal's that you are just in the same 
situation, we are not likely soon, if ever, to meet. In the 
present state of things it would be madness in you to 
think of moving. I am neither well nor ill, but better 
since I was in a warmer house ; indeed I have more to 
complain of in mind than in body." 

" June 10th, 1798. I have already told you that I 
foresaw a more strict union about to take place between 

p 3 



this country and Britain, which might make my residence 
here disagreeable, to say no worse. But I did not fore- 
see that such laws are to be enforced here as seem to be 
in imitation of Jacobinic fury, as it was called. Alien 
bills, naturalization bills, and sedition bills are originat- 
ing in each house of the senate ; and the representatives 
seem to vie with each other who shall enact the most 
rigorous clauses. By the one before the house, persons 
in my situation are declared de facto to be dangerous, 
and are at the mercy of the marshal and district judge, 
to be taken up, imprisoned, bound over, or banished, or 
fined, or conveyed to the nearest part of the territories of 
those powers to which they owe allegiance. These bills 
are not yet passed, however. 

" In what a season did the trees arrive ! I fear they 
will not be of any other use than to show my dearest wife 
that I have some virtuous and sensible connexions in this 
country, and that they have imbibed the same sentiments 
of respect and regard for my friends, which have ever 

been entertained by myself I have in the house I 

live in at present a brewing copper, holding about a 
barrel ; I have brewed in it five or six times, some for 
myself, but most for some neighbours. My beer is re- 
nowned for excellence and cheapness, and I am strongly 
solicited to undertake a brewery ; but setting aside alien 
and sedition bills, I have been too much scorched by 
calico printing. Had this been an original attempt, I 
believe I should have been induced to undertake it. No, 
there is no sign of peace ; nor of any such arrangement 
as you look for. A sermonizer here, on Mr. Adams's fast 
day, (for they fust and pray in this country too) said, and 
I think he said truly, that ' a great armed doctrine had 
gone forth, which would overturn and overturn and over- 
turn !'" 



u July 20th. The night before last I passed in my 
batteau on the Delaware. I was fool enough to trust a 
fine day, and as I used to do with you at Epinay, forgot 
how to turn about until the tide turned ; but with the 
evening came on one of those sudden changes of weather, 
that, among other things, make this country detestable 
and detested. The swell prevented me from benefitting 
by the tide : I ran on shore, as one would call it ; but 
the rivers here have no shore, they are boimded by marsh, 
alias mud, and there was no getting on dry land; and in 
my batteau full of water, with my oars, &c. lashed to the 
seat, I spent the night, and this being the fourth day after 
it, I am as well as I have been this year ; so you see 
Ross was not quite out when he spoke of me ; I have 
still a bit of iron in my constitution, though the steel 

may be ground off. On the passing of the alien bill 

I wrote to the Secretary of State, saying that having 
been a victim of false evidence in my own country, I 
might fall under the suspicion of either the President or 
some others, and it might be thought necessary to remove 
me, in which case I desired to know whether as a British 
subject I should be removed to some place under British 
jurisdiction, or given permission to go where I pleased ; 
and that the peculiarity of my situation would apologise 
for the intrusion. My letter was short and respectful, 

but I have received no answer Over and over again 

do I say, if I am to live under the lash of arbitrary power, 
at least let the whip be in the hands of those accustomed 
to use it, not picked up by a foot-passenger, who, unac- 
customed to ride, keeps flogging every post and rail he 
comes near, pleased to hear how he can smack the whip. 

O upstart aristocracy, what a fiend art thou ! I do not 

know whether I mentioned the number of dessert knives 



I sent you ; I have eighteen, but I send you only one 
dozen. Is this in hopes they will ever meet again ? Alas ! 

I fear it much You foolish goose, how could you 

send me any of the precious metals, as they are called : 
you will occasion my house to be robbed, I am sure, as 
soon as it is known that my spoons are not pewter. And 
why have I not the lock of hair with the picture, which 
would be my constant companion when I am fishing, 
brewing, or engaged in any other of my occupations ? 
Pray send it to me in a small crystal locket, the plainest 
possible, and small, but strong. Still, as I have always 
said, you are above your sex ; the whole of your reflec- 
tions concerning Mrs. W would prove it if it did not 

appear in every other action of your life. I feel the force 
of common sentiments and common opinions, and what a 
weight they have with me. I compare myself with you, 
and blush at the comparison ! I could not have done 
another, even you, if you were a man, the same justice 
you have done me under similar circumstances ; and in- 
deed you only do me justice. Shall I ever act pru- 
dently ? Probably never. 

" It is now three weeks since I wrote to Timothy 
Pickering, and as I have received no answer, I am to 
suppose I have done an impertinent thing, to address a 
letter to the Secretary of State, nay more, request an an- 
swer from the first officer of the executive, after the Pre- 
sident, of this most free and most enlightened nation, 
this democratic republic, if ever one yet existed ; but where 
those who have got unexpectedly into power wish to re- 
main so, and at their carousings drink confusion to that 
fiend democracy ! Faith, it is not pleasant, when a man is 
elected Jo the House of Representatives, and pockets his 
six dollars per day, with ample travelling expenses to and 



from home, that the scum of the earth may take it into 
their head that he has not their interest in view, and elect 
another in his place, while he returns to the counter, the 
office, or the plough ! Oh ! the borough of old Sarum 
or Harrisburgh is much better than this ! How verv 
affectionate it is to his coiintry, that to serve her in this 
hour of danger, General President Washington again steps 
forth into public life, and quits his dear retreat, his much 
loved solitude, alter enjoying it for near two years ! This 
being the 24th of July, all things remain as they were, 
excepting my having received two flattering civilities from 
two persons very universally respected on this continent ; 
but nothing can remove the weight of absence from my 
dearest friend, which ever hangs heaviest on Hamilton." 

The Congress was at this time divided into two 
parties, called federalists and anti-federalists. One 
of these was composed of those, who at the settle- 
ment of their present constitution had supported 
more popular maxims of government, and were 
called republicans by themselves, and anarchists 
and French by their opponents. The other party, 
having desired to enlarge the power of the execu- 
tive in the government about to be established, and 
having voted for the actual constitution, called 
themselves federalists. 

Anions those who visited me and congratulated 
me on my arrival there were many of both parties, 
and in the course of my residence in America I 
reckoned many sincere friends in each, though 
most in the former. The chief subject of American 
politics on which I suffered myself to speak was 



the alien bill ; this I felt severely ; it was, with 
respect to me and many others, a penal statute, 
which delivered those who did not become citizens 
over to the hands of the President, ordering them 
either to quit the country in fifteen days, or, in 
case of refusal or neglect of this, empowered him 
to have them seized and transmitted to whatever 
country he chose to say they belonged. A short 
time after my arrival at Philadelphia there was a 
town meeting on the subject of the British treaty, 
which was a grand subject of discussion. I was 
curious to see a popular assembly in the New 
World, and attended in the garden of the Court- 
house of Philadelphia, where it was convened. 

A stage had been erected, on which three dele- 
gates, to whom the consideration of the treaty had 
been referred, were mounted. They gave their 
reasons against the treaty. But the last speaker, 
Blair M'Clenahan, to my utmost surprise, at the 
close of his speech, said, " Now let us give three 
cheers for the persecuted patriot, Hamilton Rowan" 
(at the same time throwing the copy of the treaty, 
which he held in his hand, among the crowd), 
" and kick the treaty to hell /" 

On my going the next day to Baltimore, to see 
my worthy and much esteemed friend H. J. the 
following address to the editor appeared in Peter 
Porcupine's Gazette : — ■ 




" My readers know, that I some days ago gave them 
a proof or two of the federalism of these hypocritical 
editors of the Baltimore Federal Gazette. Their last 
paper contains another proof; and that will speak for 
itself too, in the following words : — ' On Sunday evening 
arrived here from Wilmington, on a short visit, that 
persecuted patriot and warm assertor o f the civil and 
religious rights of mankind, .Mr. Archibald Hamilton 
Rowan.' What could Bache, or Greenleaf, or any sans 
culotte scoundrel in the country have said more ? This 
Rowan is known to have escaped from the hands of justice 
in his own country, and to have fled to France ; he is 
known to have heen one of those men who have caused 
the convulsions in Ireland, with all their fatal conse- 
quences ; he is known to be an apostle of those abomi- 
nable principles which have deluged Europe with blood, 
and which it is every good man's object to keep far from 
this country. In fine, he is known to have joined the 
democratic, jacobin, anti-federal faction here, from the 
moment of his landing. It is notorious he was intro- 
duced to, and welcomed by an anti-federal town meeting, 
who gave three cheers for Rowan, and other three for 
kicking the treaty to hell. And it is notorious that all 
his friends and associates are men who act as if they had 
bound themselves by an oath to overthrow and destroy 
the federal government. And this is the man whom the 
federal printers of Baltimore welcome to their city as a 
persecuted patriot, a warm assertor of civil and reli- 
gious rights ! Are these the men that the federalists of 
Baltimore are weak enough to encourage on account of 



their political principles ? But I shall be told that these 
are the best which Baltimore has to boast of. I am sorry 
for it. I wish I had some one to send there to replace 
them ; and I am certain, if I were a man of wealth and 
lived there, they should be replaced. There wants no- 
thing but a man of spirit, integrity, and some talents, to 
reduce them to a cypher. Such men are surely to be 
found ; but till the real federalists have public spirit 
enough to act as well as talk, they must expect to see 
their cause the stepping-stone of hypocrites and villains." 

" Porcupine Gazette, llth February, 1798." 

[In consequence of this unprovoked attack, Mr. 
Rowan addressed the following letter to Mr. Cob- 
bett, editor of the Porcupine Gazette : — 

" February 20th, 1798. 

" Sir, 

" Soon after my arrival in America, whither 
I had fled from confinement inflicted for entertaining po- 
litical opinions flowing from feelings over which I could 
have no control, I retired to a distance from Philadelphia. 
I entered into no party, and not being a citizen, I stu- 
diously avoided mingling in the politics of this country. 
Thus retired, offending neither the government nor indi- 
viduals, I expected to live unmolested ; yet, during my 
residence in the United States, I have been the unneces- 
sary subject of frequent paragraphs in your paper. I 
wished to believe that you had seen the indelicacy and 
impropriety of such a procedure; but a publication in 
your paper of Saturday destroys that expectation. As 
you have received no injury from me, I request of you to 
explain to me what are your motives for repeatedly 



wounding my feelings and breaking in upon the peace of 
my family, by whom your papers may be read, possibly, 
in Europe. 

" I am, Sir, &c. 

" A. H. ROWAN." 

In the Porcupine Gazette of the following day, 
February 21, appeared the following notice to cor- 
respondents : — 

" I must beg leave to tell the person who requests to 
be informed of my motives for publishing certain para- 
graphs, that I do not acknowledge or submit to any 
secret inquisition. If he wishes to have his letter, or 
any other communication on the subject, published in my 
paper, it shall be done without hesitation, and then of 
necessity I shall give such answer as propriety, truth, 
and candour shall dictate ; but I will never condescend 
to a private correspondence in defence of what I publish 
to the world." 

Mr. Rowan now determined to have a personal 
interview, and accordingly, as he informs us, waited 
upon him, attended by Mr. Stafford, who acted as 
his friend on this occasion.] 

This evening, February 23, I went by appoint- 
ment to Mr. Cobbett's, accompanied by Mr. Staf- 
ford, who had arranged the interview. On enter- 
ing his private office, Mr. C. introduced me to a 
Mr. North, a friend of his, an Englishman, as he 
said. When seated, Mr. Cobbett said he under- 
stood that I had desired to see him, and he wished 



to know what I had to say to him. I answered, 
that I had shown Mr. Stafford every thing which 
had passed between us, and had put him in posses- 
sion of my sentiments on this occasion. The con- 
versation then took a wide range concerning gene- 
ral principles, his right to canvass public characters, ' 
&c. and he spoke of a dispute between him and the 
editors of a Baltimore paper, which he said was the 
cause of his late publication. Mr. Stafford ob- 
served he ouo-ht to have confined his attack to 
them. I said the matter was very short ; I had 
been wantonly and unnecessarily wounded by va- 
rious and repeated paragraphs in his paper. He 
interrupted me by saying that for some months 
prior to this, there had not been any insertion of 
that sort ; that he had been informed that I did 
not intermeddle in the politics of this country, but 
that he had lately learned by a letter from a person 
in Wilmington, whose name he would not give, 
that the contrary was the fact. I said I was con- 
cerned that there was any person living there so 
uninformed of my situation, or so ready to assert 
a falsehood concerning me" ; that those who knew 
my connexions in that town must know that I re- 
ceived equal attentions from both parties, and I 
mentioned among other names that of Dr. Latimer. 
I again asserted that I did not call forth these 
strictures by any public act of mine ; that I held 
certain political opinions which I thought virtuous 
and honourable ; that I had acted on them in Ire- 
land, and had been persecuted for them ; that I 


was prepared for farther persecution if necessary ; 
that I held the same principles still, hut that I did 
not act on them in this country ; if ever I should. 
I then became fair game ; that every man had a 
right to form and support his own opinions ; but 
that what I complained of, and wished to prevent 
in future, was the being held up as a beacon to be 
avoided by all good and honourable men. Mr. 
Cobbett said he never meant to injure me or my 
family ; that he had attacked me as a public 
character ; that Mr. North had been present when 
he received my letter ; that he had handed it to 
him, saying, " Here is a very civil letter ; I think 
I must answer it that this was his first impres- 
sion, but upon reflection he changed his opinion, 
and had inserted the notice to correspondents ; for 
he did not choose that a letter of his, in which he 
might lay himself open, should be handed about or 
published. He again asserted his right to canvass 
ail public occurrences, such as the paragraph in the 
Baltimore paper. I acceded generally to what he 
said, but remarked that the occasion of my writing 
to him, or calling on him, was the private abuse he 
had at different times thrown on me, which was 
such as no man could silently endure. He said he 
did not feel inclined to make an apology. I re- 
plied, if I had thought any apology from him ne- 
cessary, I should have asked him for it, and his 
refusal would have terminated our interview ; that 
what I desired was to remain in the back-ground, 
and to be let alone. But if his declining to apolo- 


gize for what had passed proceeded from an idea 
that he had done me no injury, there was every 
probability that on the first occasion I should be 
again brought forward in the same manner ; and 
in that case I had given this trouble to no purpose ; 
that as Mr. C. had repeatedly declared that he had 
no intention of injuring me or wounding my pri- 
vate character, I appealed to himself and to his 
friend Mr. North, whether those publications were 
or were not of that tenor. If they were not, I had 
no right to make my present remonstrance, or re- 
quest his silence in future ; but if they were, I 
was authorised in my application, and in my re- 
quest. In the course of this conversation, Mr. 0. 
drew out a letter, which he said had been handed 
to him behind his counter that day ; he wished me 
to read it. I asked whether it was anonymous. 
He said it was. I declined reading it, and re- 
turned it. Mr. C. was called out on business, and 
Mr. North repeated what Mr. C. had said on the 
subject of my letter ; and that he had supposed he 
had written to me, until he saw the article to 
correspondents. I said I was not surprised that 
he should have been cautious of writing to me, as 
he did not know me ; that some persons might 
suppose I should pride myself upon receiving any 
apology from Mr. 0., which I assured him would 
not be the case ; that I had indeed mentioned this 
business to some of my friends, but as the matter 
was in train, it was in confidence ; that whatever 
might be the issue of it, I should inform them ; 


but it was not my intention to make the business 
public. Mr. Cobbett returned into the room, and 
very shortly after said, that when he wrote that 
paragraph, he thought he was doing right, or doing 
his duty ; that since that time he had been better 
informed as to my character, and that he would 
not in future wantonly or unnecessarily bring my 
name forward. I said this was all I desired, and 
that I was perfectly satisfied with this assurance, 
and I arose to retire. While we were standing, 
Mr. Cobbett offered to insert any thing I should 
desire in his paper. I said my wish was, never to 
appear in it. Mr. Stafford, however, said, that as 
he had given so full and candid an explanation, 
he would perhaps insert something from himself. 
Here both Mr. 0. and I interrupted him ; I, by 
saying I should object to any publication ; and 
Mr. C. by saying that he had been frequently re- 
quested to do so, but had always refused ; that at 
this moment he was convinced he had misrepre- 
sented a very worthy man in this city, but that he 
would never contradict what he had once said. In 
the course of conversation many other indifferent 
things passed, for the recollection of which my 
memory does not serve me, but they were all of 
the same tenor. Mr. C. saw us to the door. 

[Prior to the termination of this affair, Bo wan 
had written to a friend in Wilmington, stating the 
circumstances, and asking his advice. His friend, 
in reply, asks, " Would it not be proper to call on 
Latimer and Bayard for their certificate that you 



lived in a retired, inoffensive, and peaceable manner 
in this town, and by your prudent conduct had 
gained the attention and respect of all parties and 
descriptions ? Such a certificate would abash even 
Porcupine himself ; and a suit brought against him 
in the Federal Court, for scandal, would teach him 
better manners in future." 

The same friend writes again : — " It is hard to 
advise what would be most proper in your case. 
The certificate I mentioned this morning would 
please me best. Porcupine is a public defamer, 
and is reprobated even by his own party. He can 
hurt no one in this country. The danger is, that 
he may injure your family. The certificate would 
completely obviate this. He is too much of a 
blackguard to be treated like a gentleman ; he 
ought to be held up to universal contempt and ab- 
horrence. I hope you have not gone too far to 
retract, and that you will join the general voice in 
thus treating him. 

" Your affectionate friend, 


" Wilmington, February 22, 1798." 

" A. H. Rowan, Esq." 


" March, 1799. I am glad that the picture got safe, 
and that you like it. Does my countenance give the lie to 
my actions, or have they been such as to make you doubt 



my affections ? If my countenance would show what 
passes in my heart, it would then be seen with what infinite 
pain to myself, and from the most disinterested affection 
to you, I have acted as I have done ; but could I send 
you a copy of my heart as easily as I can my face, be- 
lieve me I should do it most readily, that you might then 
see how every part of it glows with the warmest affection 
for you. Mr. Dickinson concluded I was a woman of 
superior understanding. I thank him ; but I have my 
fears he took all his ideas of me from your partial ac- 
counts. I know not what book Mr. Dickinson put into 
your hands, on the subject of Christianity ; but in my 
idea it stands on the best of all foundations, reason ; 
for who can doubt its precepts being divine, since more 
than mortal charity and benevolence shine through the 
whole ? I do not mean to say, however, that I disbelieve 
either prophecy or miracles ; far from it ; but I think I 
could be a Christian without either; to which I may add, 
that the more I have reflected on, and used my reason 
in matters of religion, the stronger has been my belief in 
Christianity. I hear Priestley has lately published a 
very absurd book on religion ; he has many enemies, 
however, and I think it more than probable that the book 
in question is not at all what it is represented. I would 
thank you to get it for me, that I may, as I generally do, 

judge for myself. I have sent by this vessel a parcel 

containing newspapers, pamphlets, and magazines ; the 
pamphlets are either for or against the union. 

" May 1st, 1799. Many resolutions do I make not 
to write to you on this day ; but in no other way can I 
employ myself, or lessen the melancholy that I peculiarly 
feel on it. It is now five years since we were separated. 
For great part of that time I flattered myself that by 



waiting for a short season, I should have been enabled to 
bring with me to my beloved husband, independence, and 
sufficient to procure those comforts and even elegancies 
to which we and our children have been accustomed. 
Never did I deceive the friend of my heart ; I will not 
do it now ; those hopes are in some respects vanished. 
I am satisfied, let them say what they will, that your 
property will never be regranted. I do believe it was 
once the intention of government to have given it to me ; 
but the circumstances that have occurred in Ireland since 
that time have prevented them. From this conviction 
I have given up all idea of remaining in this country. 

The only cause of delay now arises from my private 

embarrassments ; these, however, I must contrive some 
means of getting over. As to where we shall meet, you 
must be the best judge. I do not suppose in America; 
your picture both of that country and its inhabitants is 
indeed sufficient to deter any person from going thither. 
But then you did expect to find perfection there ; and 
I do not think it exists any where ; however, I have 
no predilection for America, nor for any country out of 
the British dominions ; and these being the only places 
in which it is totally impossible for me to enjoy happi- 
ness, as you cannot be of the party, all countries at peace 
with England become equal to me. America, you seem 
to think, would be the best place for us, in case we were 
deprived of our property. This is a circumstance we 
shall never know till it happens. The strongest reason, 
however, in favour of America, is the very great risk you 
must run in quitting it, of being taken at sea by the 
English or their allies, the idea of which is too horrid for 
me to rest on ; and the danger is the greater, as I think 
the American government, from its present temper, would 



give every information in its power respecting your de- 
parture. To balance this, however, you seem to think 
the climate of America does not agree with you. I am 
rather inclined to think that your present mode of life 
would not agree with you any where. Every captain of 
a ship that comes from Philadelphia or Wilmington fills 
this country with accounts of your drawing beer, flour, 
&c. through the streets, which gives fresh food for scandal 
against poor me. My own heart, and those who know 
me, acquit me of the crime of want of affection for you. 

What could, what should have obliged you to run 

from your house to the factory in a snow-storm, with 
your bed on a barrow ? We are both suffering ; but 
why should we make for ourselves unnecessary troubles ? 
The truth is, a friend of yours has written to me from 
America, to say that you are grown very thin, and that 
your health is very indifferent. You will judge what I 
felt at the receipt of such a letter. I am sensible, be- 
cause I sometimes feel it, that to give the body exercise 
is in a degree the means of lessening the sufferings of the 
mind ; but then it must not be fatigued ; for though that 
may procure rest for a night, lowness of spirits will suc- 
ceed it in the morning. For myself, I have it not in my 
power, living as I do in town, to take much exercise. I 
am never happy, and seldom quite well, nor yet ill, but 
I have not that pleasure in existence which peace of mind 
alone can give. Besides, what I have so long foreseen 
has come to pass ; constant suspence keeps me ever in a 
fret ; and there are more days that my children are, than 
they are not, objects of pain to me ; yet, to prove that I 
do not give way without an effort to amuse my mind, 
(and did I not sometimes succeed, I should go mad,) of 
late I have been much taken up in attending chemical 




lectures, and reading sufficient to make me understand 
them, and from this I often find entertainment when 
lighter amusements have failed. Until I hegan, I did 
not know how pleasant a study it was, or that it took in 
so much of natural philosophy. To return, however, to 
what is most interesting to us both, our reunion, let me 
know what you think we had best do, for you know Ame- 
rica, and I do not. On many accounts it would be de- 
sirable to be in Europe ; but the great reasons against it 
are, first, the danger you would run in getting to it, and 
the handle your quitting America would give your ene- 
mies. These appear to me so strong, as not to be easily 
got over ; but in every other point of view Europe is 
greatly to be preferred......... I send you a small parcel 

containing newspapers, with Pitt's and our Speaker's 
speeches on the union, and a pamphlet which, there is 
little doubt, was written by Emmett. Mr. Dickinson 
and you are quite out in your politics. I fear the union 
may pass ; but, believe me, if it does, it will be no reason 
for your being permitted to return to this country ; quite 
the contrary ; but you could never think on public 
matters as does your affectionate wife." 

" June 29th, 1799. You talk of the American climate ; 
but this, like the manners of the people, is much changed 
since you first knew it. The winter here, as I told you, 
was dreadfully cold, and indeed we perished until this 
month, when it set in so hot, that this day week was 
hotter than any thing I ever felt. The consequence of 
this sudden change is, that we have all got colds ; but the 
worst to me is, that every time it blows too hot or too 
cold, I feel it at my heart, from the idea of what you may 
be suffering from the excess of either. Sometimes I say 
to myself, are the people or the climate really so changed ? 



or is it that being separated from him I love, every thing- 
is to my distempered fancy altered ? If this is the case, 
may not the same cause produce the same effect in you, 
and give to America and its inhabitants many of their 
faults ?" 

" July 29th, 1799. To any well inclined persons, and 
there are some such, your endeavours to procure an in- 
dependence by industry, situated as you are, must appear 

highly laudable, and worthy only of praise I am not, 

any more than you, given to prophecy ; but it is not ne- 
cessary to be gifted with this, to foresee that ere long a 
limited monarchy will be established in France, which 
will, for a time, at least, give peace to bleeding Europe. 
This is my opinion, at least ; but I do not know that it 
is any other person's ; and as I never speak or write on 
political subjects, I should not have mentioned it, but 
that I think it the best chance we have of our affairs 
being settled satisfactorily." 

" May 1st, 1800. Bread has been sixpence a pound ; 
it is now, thank God, somewhat cheaper These cir- 
cumstances will not prevent my joining you the instant 
I hear of your being in Europe, though 1 should run away 
and walk the journey ; but I hope better than this, and 
trust that the goodness of God, which has so long sup- 
ported me, will now enable me to settle every thing in 
some degree to my satisfaction. To lose courage in such 
a situation is to lose every thing." 

" August 16th, 1800. I have before said I am pro- 
mised letters of recommendation, as soon as it is known 
where we mean to live ; in what styla they will be I can- 
not say, but I think the Chancellor will do the best he can 
for us ; and from men of science here I shall have letters 
to men of the same sort in Germany. Ten thousand 



thanks for your thinking of my good friend Higgins. 

There are some cases, my good friend, in which to 

suppose the possibility is to make the reality. You expect 
to find me altered, so much as to fear we shall not again 
be as happy as we were. In person, to be sure, I am 
altered ; perhaps also in manners. When you recollect 
the scenes I have had to go through, and the courage 
that was necessary for them, you will naturally suppose 
that there is more of independence in my character and 
manners than there was when you left me. This, how- 
ever, was even then coming fast ; I must own I think it 
an improvement ; prepare yourself to think so, and rest 
assured my heart and mind are just those you have so 
long loved." 

[From various passages in Mr. Rowan's corres- 
pondence, his opinions in favour of the union were 
very striking and decided. Addressing his father, 
he writes, "January, 1799. I congratulate you 
upon the report which spreads here that a union is 
intended. In that measure I see the downfall of 
one of the most corrupt assemblies, I believe, ever 
existed , and instead of an empty title, a source of 
industrious enterprize for the people, and the wreck 
of feudal aristocracy."' 1 ] 


u January 10th, 1799. " Success to the union, if it 
is intended. You may have heard me declare the same 
opinion long since. It takes a feather ont of the great 
man's cap ; but it will, I think, put many a guinea in the 
poor man's pocket." 



" March loth. The government printer has, the 
other day, published a letter in his newspaper, in which, 
among other curious paragraphs are the following : — 
' That the constitution of these states' (alas ! how often, 
in conversation with poor Tone, have I urged that the 
Americans were far off and looked bright ! ) ' is a mere 
substitute for a better ; more untenable than a house on 

a quicksand: that the state governments are like 

a -farrow of pigs insulting the old sow :' (Elegant !) 

' that universal suffrage is only the right of putting a 
paltry piece of paper into a ballot-box once or twice a 

year: that republicanism is the highest note in the 

gamut of nonsense: that newspapers are the greatest 

curse a country can have ; and American papers worse 
than any others : . ...that the magistrates and clergy are — 
the former pickpockets and bank robbers ; and the latter 
a herd of stock-jobbing priests, attacking the true faith.' 
And the cure of these is a change of government ! I 
have before told you I thought such a thing, whether 
right or wrong, was intended ; I told you it would not be 
effected without blood ; and therefore so far from wishing 
you here, I wished that I were away from this. The 
time then will come, and I shall perhaps be here in de- 
spite of myself. I begin to think that the only question 
a poor man should ask himself is, ' Under what govern- 
ment shall I work least, get most, and keep what I get ?' 
In this view, to use an American term, I would advocate 
an union in Ireland, which will throw work into the cabin, 
and take triple taxes and tenth of income, &c. &c. out 
of the rich man's house. In future times, however, I 
have no doubt but a mode will be adopted better than 
any now known, and I am fortified in this opinion from 
the great probability of a convulsion in this country, 



which has certainly theoretically the most free govern- 
ment existing ; for except in the instances of some free 
states, where the legislatures assume the right (as it is 
said, under a misconstruction of the constitution, by those 
who oppose it) to elect senators and appoint electors for 
choosing the president, every office is filled by the people.- 
The strange compromise between the states possessing 
slaves, and the others is indeed ludicrous. Six slaves make 
one free man, and give a vote in consequence to their pro- 
prietor. It was somewhat on this principle, I suppose, 
that formerly one Englishman was equal to ten French- 
men, Q. E. D. This superiority seems to be kept up at 
sea, where the most absolute despotism reigns. How is 
this ? Because in that service, merit, professional alone, 
leads to promotion. No eighty- four-gun ship has ever 
descended from father to son." 

" April \6th, 1799. There are so many new events 
turning up in your country, that there is no foreseeing 
what will be the issue. But of this I am morally certain, 
that the troubles in Europe will increase rather than di- 
minish ; and this alone keeps me in suspense as to leav- 
ing America. Were I mad with prophecy, I would utter 
strong but by no means improbable sentences upon all 
the monarchies of the old world. But I cannot think 
that these things are acting in order to the accomplish- 
ment of that which was written. It seems to me that all 
revolutions are effected by a co-operation of the benevo- 
lent and ambitious against the rich and the corrupt. As 
soon as the revolution is consolidated, those who were be- 
nevolent become corrupt from power, and the ambitious 
make them their prey, and in their turn fall before a new 
coalition. I am almost sent to Coventry here by the 
Irish, for my opinions concerning a union. I am, as 


usual, obstinate as a pig, and mutter ' union, or .' 

The army have returned from Philadelphia, having acted 
as an army let loose always will act, even though it should 
belong to the freest and most enlightened nation." 

" Balston Springs, September, 1799. I wrote on the 
back of a letter which I left at New York, as I passed 
through to this place, ' on the road to Saratoga.' I do 
not know whether you ever received the only letter which 
could in a degree explain this journey of about 500 miles. 
Mr. Rodney was ill at Albany ; his family were in dis- 
tress ; he was supposed to have no friend with him ; his 
wife insisted on joining him ; her father would not con- 
sent to it ; and a sort of tompromise took place upon 
my undertaking the journey, and promising them all due 
attention. I arrived here in six days' very fatiguing 
journey ; for the road was miserable towards the latter 
end ; but if travelling all day and the greatest part of the 
night had not, with something else, deadened all sources 
of pleasure, I must have been delighted with the scenery 
on the banks of the North river all the way from New 
York. The distant views of the Catskill mountains, 
which are a part of the Allegany, were superb ; never have 
I seen such heights. When I arrived here, I found 
Rodney had written that most alarming letter, which oc- 
casioned my journey, in a fit of despondency, and that he 
was as well as any man liable to attacks from indigestion, 
which, however, were very severe. This spot is in a hol- 
low ; the hills which make it a bason have been covered 
with pine trees. This is called a pine-barren, and would 
have been less disagreeable to the eye, if they had not, by 
cutting the bark, killed all the trees, which are now so 
many ragged poles, some fallen, some falling. The ac- 
commodations are a long frame-house, and this divided 


by a gallery, on each side of which are small rooms just 
big enough for a pallet bed and a trunk with one chair, 
and nothing but board partitions. I have one of these, 
which adjoins that of a Boston young lady, her attendant 
lover being on the other side of her. I hear more than 
prudence would dictate. There is a strange familiarity 
among the youth every where j it shocks at first, but has 
at length become familiar ; and now without the least 
surprise I can see two or three young ladies and a gentle- 
man in the corner of the room locked in each others 7 
arms, and romping to excess. I have now visited the 
springs of Saratoga, about eight miles from hence. The 
waters taste nearly as those here, which are like Seltzer 
water with salt in it. The spring at Saratoga has risen 
out of the earth, and formed, as it constantly rose, a 
mound of petrifaction, out of the centre of which it con- 
stantly flowed ; until about fifteen years since, when this 
crust or rock cracked, and the water is now about four 

feet lower than the surface over which it used to flow 

I shall close this at Albany, whither I shall go and wait 
a few days, until Rodney determines whether the late 
alterations in the weather will not occasion his leaving the 
springs. This man also loves his wife, but he enjoys all 
other society ; he dances, he jokes, nay, he is sorry when 
a young party leaves the place where he now inhabits. 

"Here I am, September Wth, at Albany. I have 
desired Rodney to determine his actions, and that as he 
decides, I will either leave this on Thursday for New 
York, or wait for him. Should I be delayed, I will go 
and see the warm springs at Lebanon, and a curious 
society called the Shaking Quakers, which is in its vici- 
nity. They renounce the world, like the Chartreux ; but 
they render themselves useful to society by employing 



themselves in raising fowl, and cultivating large gardens. 
Every thing is in common among them ; and I have 
heard such accounts of their regulations as would induce 
me to join them, were it not for the absurdity of their re- 
ligious practices. Yet you would say to me, ' Where do 
you expect to find perfection ?" 

" September \9th, 1799, on the North or Hudson 
river. Having adhered to my constant practice of con- 
tinuing an Irishman, and not meddling with American 
politics, I have had the satisfaction of receiving marked 
civilities from many agreeable persons of both parties 
here. I spent a day at Mr. Walton's, near the wells, and 
have been much and kindly pressed to pass some time 

with a Mr. Van Ness, below Albany This is the 

second time I have embarked on this river, on my return 
to Delaware. The first time, Rodney and I got into a 
boat crowded by frowzy Dutch women and their squalling 
brats ; he got low-spirited, and we prevailed on another 
boat to lie to for us, while we re-embarked for Albany ; 
and now, as we have a fair wind, I will not close my 
letter until we get to Ainboy, whither this vessel is bound. 
By this means we got past New York, where the fever 
rages with increased violence. 

" Thursday Evening. The wind has fallen, and the 
tide against us ; six hours' delay. Well, it gave me an 
opportunity of getting on shore, and returning to Albany, 
where I had forgotten the large knife you sent out to me. 
In this ride I had again, as I constantly have, occasion 
to love and respect the lower order of men, when uncon- 
taminated by too much intercourse with their superiors. 
I lost one of my gloves, and having searched back the 
road for it in vain, I continued my route. Overtaking a 
Negro, I threw him the other, saying that ' I had lost the 
q 3 



fellow on that hill somewhere ; that perhaps he might 
find it, and he never was possessed of such a pair in his 
life.' (They were the last of six pair Wills sent me out.) 
The fellow smiled. ' No, Master, you not lost it ; here 
it is and he took the fellow out of his "bosom and gave 
them both to me. And this man was a slave, whose 
portion was stripes, and black dog his appellation from a 
whey-faced Christian !" 

" Brandy wine, November llth, 1799. Miss Vining 
lately forced Heloise upon me. I would not read the 
account of Julie's illness and death over again for any 
inducement ; my head ached the whole day after. What 
a foolish thing it is to run to fiction for misery ! But, 
lecture over, the pain is succeeded by pleasure ; not so 
in life." 

" December \0th } 1799. I have got two pets besides 
Charles and Sally, a cat and a squirrel. Do you not 
wonder at the alteration which attaches me to my quon- 
dam mortal enemy, a cat ? Oh ! I am vastly altered in 
those respects. But at the same time I must allow that 
my puss is not in all respects feline, for she will walk out 
a shooting with me in the rain, and such a whillaloo as 
she sets up in the woods when she misses me, or Mr. 
Robinson, who indeed mostly uses her as a ferret to drive 
the rabbits from under the rocks." 

" Wilmington, January 30th, 1800. The good peo- 
ple of this country are mad. There is scarcely a large 
town on the continent where Washington has not been 
buried twice ; and on his birth -day, the llth of February, 
he is to be buried again all over the continent. The 
' elegantes' of Wilmington are drawing lots which shall be 
the fortunate sixteen who are to represent the sixteen 
states in the procession, and weep, and wail, and mourn 



the hero's death. I respect Washington's character, and 
would perpetuate his memory. This monotonous bury- 
ing a parcel of empty coffins may indicate an enlight- 
ened nation, but surely it is no proof of their fancy or 
ingenuity. Dr. Priestley has published some letters to 
the people of Northumberland, which are much criticised 
by those called aristocrats, because he disapproves of the 
alien and sedition laws ; and further, although he is not a 
native American, he has had the presumption to propose 
some amendments to the constitution. The Doctor was 
forced into this publication of his sentiments, by para- 
graphs similar to one I shall copy, which abounded in 
Cobbett's, Fenno's, and Brown's papers : — f I hope to see 
the malignant old Tartuffe of Northumberland begging 
his bread through the streets of Philadelphia, and ending 
his days in a poor house, without a friend to close his 
eyes !' I could not curse the curser thus. How shall I 
find words to bless you and yours ?"* 

" Wilmington, June 4th, 1800. There are a thousand 
things from which I cannot detach myself, which have 
been, and may again be useful to me. They swell my 
equipage to about one ton and a half of measurement ; 
but I cannot help it ; they are the companions of my dis- 
tress, and I sometimes flatter myself they will be the 
witnesses of my felicity I have no family now; I 

* "While Mrs. Rowan was yet hesitating about going to Ame- 
rica, she writes — " You hold out a strong inducement when you 
mention our living near Priestley, whose Christian doctrine and 
scientific knowledge I so highly respect ; but then can I wish to 
go to a country where a paragraph so vulgar and inhuman could 
be tolerated ?" Mr. Rowan speaks of Priestley as " social, affa- 
ble, and good-natured." 



gave my cat to an affectionate, industrious countryman 
when I was going to Baltimore ; Sally, though bred up 
with me, deserts my roof for a better fireside and hnng 
beef for her breakfast. If it were not for the expense, I 
would travel after Charles, as Sterne's Peasant in search 
of his ass. Poor fellow ! perhaps the yell he constantly 
set up when he lost me may have caused his death. Did 
you never read, the title at least, of a play of Terence, 

' Trie Self-tormentor?"* I have put up some trifling 

pieces of petrifaction and spar, &c. for your friend Mr. 
Higghis ; I will send him a specimen of the soap-stone, 
which from its extreme softness when taken out of the 
quarry, and hardening afterwards in the air, is much used. 
There is a kind of beetle here, more powerful, and quicker 
in its operation than the Spanish flies ;f he shall have 
some of these, as also some of the locusts which have ap- 
peared this year, and are said to sink in the earth for 
seven or eight years, and to be as long rising. There 
are few persons here to assist me in the collection, and 
you know I am no naturalist ; but trifling as these things 
may be, they will mark a wish to please the gentleman 

* He was in danger also of becoming a second Timon Misan- 
thropos ; for he says " of late I am become a perfect misan- 
thrope ; or at least I love no one, and no one loves me, and the 
sooner the deception of life is over the better." 

f Probably the cantharis vittata of Fabricius, which in the 
United States of America abounds on the potatoe-plants. As to 
the locusts, Kalm, in his Travels to North America, mentions a 
species which appears " about every seventh year in incredible 
numbers. They come out of the ground in the middle of May, 
and make, for six weeks together, such a noise in the trees and 
woods, that two persons who meet in such places canrtot Under- 
stand each other, unless they speak louder than the locusts can 
chirp." — Ed. 



from whom you have received attentions which diverted 
your thoughts from scenes in which you have had no 
pleasant part to act. However, that you may have my 
story too, I met at Baltimore a young man of the name of 
Ludlow, about thirty years of age ; he was taken, when an 
infant, by his father, to a frontier post on the Ohio, Ken- 
tuckey. The expression of his countenance is very different 
from that of civilized life ; he has a wild enthusiastic eye, 
and yet so mingled with the serene softness of the Indian 
character as to be enchanting ; temperate both in eating 
and drinking, perhaps from frequently wanting both for a 
length of time, while besieged in the fort or kept a pri- 
soner by the Indians. But I am forgetting my story 
in the praises of the recounter. There is a certain 
Irishman in his neighbourhood, of the name of Wei- 
don, who has realized a fortune oT some magnitude 
by catching wild horses on the Spanish territory, which 
he has permission to do on paying one-eighth of a dollar 
for each horse he catches, to the government. This 
he performs in the following manner. He sets out on 
a trained horse, with a coil of rope, one end of which 
is fastened round his steed's neck, and the other is tied 
in a slip-knot ; the coil lies over his arm. Having 
pitched upon the horse which he means to take out of 
the first herd he meets, he rides full speed at him, and, 
with a dexterity which is seldom foiled, throws the noose 
over the head of the flying animal. His own horse, 
as soon as he finds the rope is thrown, stops short, 
squats upon his breech, and throwing up his head the 
bite which was round his neck bears behind his ears, 
while the tightened rope draws the noose closer against 
the wind-pipe of the other, which being thus choked falls 
to the ground, and is immediately manacled." 



" Philadelphia, June 30th, 1800. Mr. Dickinson 
asserts that the accomplishment of the union will bring 
further indulgence to the political sinners of your country. 
I have no such idea, notwithstanding the favours which I 
have received in your person from the Chancellor, its 
professed advocate. By-the-bye I have read his speech 
on this subject, which proves one thing evidently, that 
the present, or rather the late government of Ireland, was 
disgraced by a shameless, corrupt, oligarchic aristocracy, ■ 
whose power ought to be done away, as Robespierre said 
about Paine, f for the good of both countries.' " 




Mr. Griffith's sketch of a petition — Reasons for rejecting it — 
Letter from Lord Castlereagh, with permission for Mr. Rowan 
to go to Denmark — Leaves America — embarks for Hamburgh 
— Journal of his voyage — Fellow-passengers — Madam Beche — 
Young Dane — German flute — Boarded by a privateer — Alter- 
cation with the captain — Sea-sickness — The two mates — De- 
mocracy, by whom stigmatized — Fair Hill — Arrives at Ham- 
burgh — waits on the British minister — goes to Lubec — Petition 
to the King — O 'Byrne induces Mr. Steele to promote its suc- 
cess — Letter from Lord Clare — Griffith waits on Lord Pelham 
— Messrs. Fitzgerald and Byrne pardoned — Rowan's pardon 
under consideration — Letter from Mr. Steele — Allowed to re- 
side in England — Lawyers' opinion that Ins pardon ought to 
be passed under the great seal of Ireland — Interview with 
Lord Castlereagh — Applies to the Duke of Portland for leave 
to reside in Ireland — Pleads his pardon in the King's Bench, 
Dublin — Addresses the Court. 

The year after my arrival in America, but be- 
fore I had made any essay towards independence, 
I received a letter (of which the following is an ex- 
tract) from a most valued and sincere friend in 
Ireland, though of yery different political senti- 
ments, advising me to petition government for a 
pardon ; and he sent me a sketch of such a peti- 
tion as he thought would restore me with honour 
to my friends and country, but which I could not 




" 1796. 

" Mrs. Rowan has, I doubt not, acquainted you 

with the friendly conduct of the Lord Chancellor, and of 
the strong disposition he feels, and has unequivocally ex- 
pressed, to assist in obtaining your pardon. I thought 
it advisable therefore to show him your letter to me. 
When he read it he seemed affected by it, and said he 
wished you would express the same sentiments in form of 
a petition to his Majesty, written and signed by yourself, 
and send it to Mrs. Rowan, as he did not doubt it might 
be a means of obtaining a free pardon for you when peace 
was made. Let me therefore entreat my dear friend to 
lose no time in fulfilling his desire. I have sketched my 
idea of the nature of this petition in the following words, 
and you may either adopt or write such an one as you 
think fit. 

" To the King's Most Excellent Majesty, the Humble 
Petition of Archibald Hamilton Rowan. 

" May it please your Majesty, 

" Misguided by false lights, and hurried 
away by presumptuous self-sufficiency, your petitioner 
dared for a moment to entertain the wild idea of endea- 
vouring, by aid of your Majesty's enemies, to reform 
what he deemed the grievances of his native country ; 
but by the intervention of Divine Providence the scheme 
of destruction was frustrated, and your petitioner, abashed 
and confounded, fled from the justice of that country. 
Fortunately for your petitioner, he took refuge with a 
nation whose maxims of liberty, and whose boldness in 



overturning even- order in society, he had been taught to 
admire and revere. Your petitioner remained a year in 
Paris during the reign of Robespierre, and was in much 
less than half that time fully convinced by the most in- 
controvertible evidence, produced by each succeeding 
day's experience, that no evils in government can equal 
in severity and duration the calamities necessarily atten- 
dant on calling into action the power of the mob ; a truth 
which, until it was proved by the concurring testimony 
of facts passing before his eyes, your petitioner was as far 
from believing as he is now from doubting. Disgusted 
by the scenes of carnage which hourly occupied the public 
attention during his stay at Paris, your petitioner at 
length obtained permission (after repeated entreaty) to 
leave a country doomed to misery by the same presump- 
tuous confidence in false philosophy which had misguided 
your petitioner. Your petitioner having proceeded to 
America, and having had full time to reflect on the folly 
and turpitude of his conduct, is strongly impressed with 
the desire of making the only atonement in his power to 
his injured country, by a public confession of his guilt. 

** He therefore humbly implores your Majesty graci- 
ously to accept the deep contrition of a heart truly peni- 
tent for past eiTors, and fraught with the warmest attach- 
ment to the British constitution and to your Majesty's 
person and government. 

" And your petitioner, as in duty bound, will pray." 


" December, 1796. 

" One of the enclosures which I have received by 

?>Ir. Reilly makes it necessary for me to trouble you with 



this letter. Expecting that I should comply with the 
advice of Mr. Griffith, you may neglect interesting your 
friends in your behalf. I must therefore be explicit ; and 
as all the late news tend to peace, I cannot be suspected 
of secret hopes. I never will sign any petition or decla- 
ration in favour of the British constitution in Ireland 
which embraces such flagrant abuses as I have witnessed, 
and of which I have been in some measure the victim ; 
yet this seems requisite to be an integral part of any ap- 
plication to be made in my favour. I would have pro- 
mised a perfect quiescence under the present government, 
and should have been sincerely grateful to those who had 
it in their power to crush my family through me, yet for- 
bore. But my opinions were not hastily adopted ; they 
were neither the result of pride, of ambition, nor of va- 
nity ; they were the result of the most mature reflection 
of which I was capable : they cannot alter ; and though 
I might desist from acting on them, I never will disown 
them. If such conduct be expected from me, that I may 
be enabled to make over my fortune to you and to the 
children, you should consult your friends upon what 
mode would be the best for you to pursue, for I am de- 

[Mrs. Rowan was far from acting on the latter 
suggestion ; but finding that the hope of a free 
pardon at that time must be abandoned, she used 
all the interest in her power to procure permission 
for her husband to quit America, and go to any 
country not at war with Great Britain. Mr. 
Griffith warmly seconded her efforts, by writing to 
the Lord Chancellor, and calling on him repeatedly 
to urge her suit. To the Chancellor's honor, be it 



recorded that he always evinced a cordial sym- 
pathy in the sufferings and deprivations of Mrs. 
Rowan and her family ; that he gave her most 
judicious advice as to the management of her 
affairs, and suggested such a course of conduct to 
Mr. Rowan, as led ultimately to the accomplish- 
ment of her wishes. At length, in September, 
1799, she was gratified by the receipt of the fol- 
lowing letter from Lord Castlereagh, with whom 
Mr. Rowan's father w r as well acquainted : — ] 


" Dublin Castle, 9th September, 1799. 

" Madam, 

" My Lord Lieutenant having, by desire 
of the Lord Chancellor, stated to his Grace the Duke of 
Portland, that Mr. Hamilton Rowan was anxious to pro- 
ceed to Denmark from America, but that he was afraid 
he might be apprehended in his passage by one of his 
Majesty's cruisers ; I am directed to acquaint you that 
in consequence of the favourable report made by the 
Lord Chancellor, of Mr. Rowan's conduct since he re- 
sided in America, he will be secured (as far as his Ma- 
jesty's government is concerned) in the refuge which may 
be granted to him in Denmark or elsewhere, as long as 
he continues to demean himself in such a manner as not 
to give offence. 

" I have the honour to be, Madam, 

" Your most obedient servant, 




[Much inquiry and discussion as to that part of 
Europe in which it would be most eligible for them 
to meet, had taken place between Mr. and Mrs. 
Eowan. Portugal was mentioned ; but Rowan 
was adverse to a " petticoat government." Swit- 
zerland I A noble Bernois had assured him, that 
the reformists in the cantons waited only for the 
settlement of France to make alterations at home. 
Sweden, Denmark, Holstein, Hanover, Weimar, 
were each the subject of consideration. Mrs. Rowan 
speaks of Brunswick as a desirable place, particu- 
larly for William, who had expressed a strong de- 
termination to go into the army. Again she says, 
" Berlin would be my wish, particularly if I could 
get letters of recommendation to Lord Carysfort, 
the English minister there, who spoke with friend- 
ship concerning you. 1 '' At last it was determined 
that he should go to Hamburgh ;* and accord- 
ingly he lost no time in making preparation for 

* Hamburgh would have afforded no security to an Irish exile 
without a protection from the British government. This at least 
may be inferred from the case of "J. N. Tandy, who attained 
the rank of general of brigade in the French service. He was 
seized upon the neutral territory of Hamburgh, and brought to 
Treland, and tried at the spring assizes for the county of Donegal, 
in 1801 ; but by a compromise he pleaded guilty, and was suffered 
to leave the kingdom, and take up his residence in France. This 
afforded, afterwards, a specious pretext for the occupation of 
Hamburgh by Bonaparte, and was adduced by him as an ex- 
ample and justification for his violation of the neutral territory of 
Baden, when he seized the Due D'Enghein." — History of the 
French Revolution, Glasgow, 1829. — Ed. 



his departure. A journal of his voyage, in form 
of a letter addressed to Mrs. Kowan, has been 
preserved, of which the followiDg is a copy, some- 
what abridged : — ] 


u Not having any hopes of meeting my best beloved 
at Hamburgh, I prepare this letter on board, which will 
announce my arrival, and be a sort of journal of the pas- 
sage. On goin£ to Philadelphia the last day of June, to 
enquire whether there were any vessels getting ready for 
Hamburgh, I found the brig Sally, Captain "M'Call, 
which was to sail on the 6th of July. I returned imme- 
diately to Wilmington, determined to take my passage in 
her. I commissioned a friend to pay the forty guineas ; 
for which sum I was to be provided with every thing. I 
collected all my engagements, and found that by draw- 
ing on you for £50 at ninety days' sight, and £100 more 
at six months after sight, I should wash my hands of 
every thing in America, and leave it with about twenty 
guineas in my pocket. On Monday, July 7th, I went 
to Newcastle ; the captain told me that he had express 
orders not to take me on board without a passport. I 
gave him one of the two copies you sent me of Lord 
Castlereagh's letter, which was on paper with a crown in 
the corner ; this he appeared to be satisfied with, as it 
was on stamped paper, though not in the form he ex- 
pected. I now found that I was to provide my bedding. 
I had sold all my own for less than a quarter of its value. 
The worst mattrasses in Newcastle were from two to three 
guineas each. The weather was excessively hot, and I 
determined to use the phaeton coat as a bed, and tack 



some towels together, if necessary, to have sheets, as I 
could not get at my linen. On Tuesday morning early 
I embarked, with a bag of bird-seed and a red bird, a 
dozen of potatoes, a young opossum,* and Sally. This 
opossum has disappeared since I came on board ; whe- 
ther he has died, or has fallen a sacrifice to a meagre 
tabby cat that is on board, I know not ; but if the latter, 
I hope he will be accepted as an equivalent for my red 
bird and a fine bullfinch belonging to a German lady, a 
passenger. This lady is one of the numerous instances 
of the reverses in American credit. Her brother and her 
husband were, two years since, in the first line of com- 
mercial opulence ; they are now completely ruined. TI13 
husband fled, and she follows him 

'* July Wth. We have now been two days out of the 
pilot's hands, and have a fine breeze. Last night the 
opossum came down by one of the ropes from the top ; 
the men at the helm cried out ' there was a rat eating the 
main stay all hands flew upon deck ; the opossum was 
seized, but not secured, for he is gone again. 

" July 13//;. Until yesterday evening we had a tole- 
rably fair wind. Having now a little better acquaintance 
with my fellow-passengers, I will introduce them to you, 
and begin, as I ought, with the lady. Madam Beche is 
rather handsome, and once was the belle of Hamburgh ; 
she suckles a child of about eighteen months old, which 
is indulged in every thing ; she crams, or permits it to be 
crammed with all sorts of salt meat, sugar -plums, sweet- 
meats, rhubarb, magnesia, goat's milk, punch, and gin 
toddy. I should be sorry to take as much of the latter 

* Kalm, in his Travels in North America, says " the opossum 
{•an be tamed so as to follow people like a dog-," 


as either the child or its mother does. And the mother 
wonders what can make her child so ill ! This same lady 
thinks that hemp and canary-seed are bad for her bull- 
finch ; so I have undertaken the care of it, and I do not 
know whether I am most in favour for not letting him 
partake with my red bird, or out of favour because I 
never cram the child or take him in my arms. As I can- 
not Deutsch sprechen, I have not much of their clack. 
There is another passenger in the steerage, a young Dane, 
whose relations live at Altona ; he has promised, if I 
choose to remain at Altona, to procure me lodging in a 
private house. This perhaps may induce me to give up 
my former ideas of going to some neighbouring village, 
there to await your will and pleasure. 

" Monday, July 14/A. Inauspicious day ! foul wind 
and foul weather ! We have, however, caught a dolphin, 
which is an occurrence worthy of notice at sea. 

" Wednesday, July 16th. Foul wind these four days, 
and hard gusts for the last thirty-six hours. I do pity 
the poor woman with all her fancies ; but I pity the maid 
more, for such has been her sickness, that she fainted 
three times successively ; notwithstanding, she is hept 
running up and down for Charles, and when she seizes a 
moment of respite she is called a lazy slut ! 

" Thursday, July \lth. Bad wind and foul weather. 
Our passengers rise very late, which you know was always 
irksome to me, but at sea it is intolerable. By way of a 
silent employment, I once set about answering all your 
letters over again ; but from the first attempt I found I 
had better be quiet. Some strings which had ceased to 
vibrate again showed symptoms of convulsion, so I laid 
down my pen and took up my German flute. Do you 
believe it ? I can play ' God Save the King and ' Foot's 


Minuet' so that you could know them ! At first, indeed, 
it might have passed for the ' Carmagnole or ' Mar sell- 
lois Hymn ;' but during the long evenings last winter, I 
could imagine no easier way of keeping myself out of bed 
and awake, than discord, and having only Robinson with 
me, whom I seldom saw in the evening, I bought this 
instrument and tootle-tooed until ten o'clock. Miserable 
as my habitation was on the Brandywine, I left it with 
regret about three weeks before I departed from Wil- 
mington to lodge at a Miss Hanson's. She had the care 
of three of her nieces, the eldest of whom, about ten years 
old, who has lost her father, took such a fancy for me, 
that I begin to entertain hopes that I may not be dis- 
agreeable to my own children. She lamented that she 
had not a father like me, and she would never quit him ! 
But this little lass had begged her aunt not to take me as 
a boarder, having been prejudiced against me ; while my 
bairns will look for me with impatience, and be disap- 
pointed in the object of their distant admiration. 

" July 13//?. About noon this day we were boarded 
by what we supposed to be a British armed cruiser of 
twenty- two guns, although she showed only American 
colours. This vessel detained us until near five o'clock, 
during which time a fair wind had died away. The lieu- 
tenant had carried off my collection of letters, together 
with the captain's papers ; they are, however, returned, 
and with much apparent reluctance we are permitted to 
continue our rout. 

" July 19 th. Since I wrote the above I have suffered 
a good deal from the ill humour of the captain. Unfortu- 
nately for me, the privateer's men would not believe me to 
be the person I passed for, but insisted that I was either 
a Dutchman or a Frenchman, and that part of the cargo 



was mine ; and I am told by a sailor whom they kept on 
board while they detained us, that the captain and all his 
officers were employed in looking over your letters for 
the greater part of the first five hours of our detention ; 
while at intervals they attempted to bribe him to say 
that the cargo was foreign property. This being repeated 
to the captain, he w r as so exasperated at being detained, 
as he said, on my account, that as soon as we were clear 
he insisted on, my throwing ' those damned letters' over 
board. An altercation ensued, during which he said 
many improper things, which I rebutted with great calm- 
ness. Indeed I ought to be ashamed that I do not 
always exercise that power of restraining my sensations 
which I exert at some moments. The only inconvenience 
T now feel is, that my bird sings so loudly and so early 
that he must be removed. Fortunately the weather is 
fine, and the wind fair, but we are as yet only on a pa- 
rallel with Boston. I begin to fear that our German 
lady is a tattler, which is synonimous to a mischief-maker; 
this, however, does not afiect me, as my only communi- 
cation is with her bullfinch, which would die if I ne- 
glected it. The poor servant continues sick whenever 
there is any motion in the ship. It seems to be the 
general opinion that she may die and be damned. I gave 
her two boxes of peppermint lozenges, which appeared to 
have good effect. I would advise you to furnish yourself 
with the essence, as well as with some of those lozenges. 

" July 20th. Fair wind, and running seven or eight 
knots an hour. Whose is the log that can count the 
rapidity with which my heart flits to meet its counterpart ? 
Yet I acknowledge my moments of desponding : 

' I that loved her so well, grew old now as you see : 

Love liketh not the falling fruit, not yet the withered tree.' 




And whatever you may say, neither my mind nor my 
manners are improved by my residence on the western 
continent ; and God knows at all times it was a strange 
medley of contrarieties. 

" July 2\st. Foul wind and bad weather. An exact 
attention to discipline and an unembarrassed behaviour 
to the captain seem to have soothed his Eminence, which 
I am not sorry for ; an evidence of this is, that he this 
day called me to dinner himself, instead of sending the 
steward. No sooner in with the captain, than out with 
the mate. About four in the evening I took my flute ; 
the mate came down, and, by way of a gentle hint, said, 
f damn that flute, I wish it was pitched into the sea ; I 
shall get no sleep.' I made no answer, but went upon 
deck, cursing within myself. 

" July 25th. Foul wind from the 21st. This day on 
the banks of Newfoundland ; the wind being foul, we lay 
to and caught above fifty fine cod in the space of two 
hours. The cod, when taken out of the water and boiled 
immediately after, is by no means so excellent as in 
London ; and I was surprised to find none of that curd 
between the flakes, which we look upon as the sign of 
fresh fish. 

" July 28 th. Fair wind took us while we were on the 
fishing ground, but the weather was foggy and cold. Since 
our success in fishing, we have literally eaten nothing 

" August 1st. With the exception of one day, we 
have had fair though light winds. It continues very 
cold, and I have laid out only my summer-dress ; but I 
will not venture to ask the hatches to be taken up in 
order to get another, although I am in such favour I 
believe I might do so safely. Our dead lights being up, 
the cabin is very dismal. In every instance where one 



is to cope with ignorance, arrogance is the surest weapon. 
The two mates eat at our table ; the first is a young, con- 
ceited, forward chap, and, contrary to the usual custom of 
sailors, extremely fond of his belly ; without ceremonv 
helping himself to the milk of Madam's goat for his 
coffee, which I never touch, though invited ; he manages 
the captain well ; while the other, an elderly Dane, 
always employed, never noisy, would scarcely get any 
thing at the table but the refuse, if the passengers did 
not pay him more attention than his employer. I find 
he was first mate of a Danish vessel, the captain of which 
died in the passage ; he then took the command. The 
cargo and vessel were sold in Philadelphia, and he might 
have retained his command if he would have sailed in 
her under Danish colours ; but as she was now American 
propertv, his conscience forbade him, and he was turned 
adrift, to get back as well as he could ; and he works his 
passage on board this vessel. Blush, ye great ones, at 
this and many similar instances of integrity in a class 
who do not put even Esquire after their names ! Demo- 
cracy is only stigmatized as the Reformation, the Revolu- 
tion, and every other great change has been, because 
many enlist imder its banners who are in fact aristocrats — 
manv that have no principles — many who wish only to 
be enabled to lead dissolute lives, free from censure ; and 
these making commonly the greatest noise, they obstruct 
the progress of truth, and bring shame and trouble on 
those who are virtuous and sincere. 

" August 3rd. This day a heavy sea swept our decks ; 
we recovered our boats, and have suffered no material injury. 

" August Sth. We have a continuation of fair wind, 
but very unpleasant weather. I do regret my penury in 
not procuring bedding. The sun, however, begins to 


peep, and they say we are only sixty miles from Fair 
Hill, an island between Scotland and Shetland. 

" August 1 1 th. Here have we been beating these 
three days. This morning we saw land ; the captain says 
it is Fair Hill ; but the old Dane says, in private, that it 
is another island on which he was once nearly lost. 

" August \3th. The Dane was right. This morning 
we fell in with Fair Hill, and were boarded by a number 
of miserable fishermen, whose trade seems to be begging 
from ships as they pass. We gave them some old clothes, 
and they loaded us with blessings. As we shall now 
enter the North Sea, we look upon our voyage as being 
nearly at an end ; in consequence, a thousand different 
plans suggest themselves to me. At Altona I will re- 
main until I have enquired for letters ; but it is likely I 
shall meet the same fate as I did in Philadelphia ; I will 
allow, however, that my disappointment will be less sur- 
prising to me, as you had no great reason to suppose I 
could have arranged my affairs so as to quit America this 
summer, until you received the letters which I wrote on 
the eve of my departure. Having made these enquiries, 
I shall, I think, go to Wansbeck, within a few miles of 
Altona, in the Danish dominions. How do I dread that 
at last your affairs will prevent you from meeting me 
until next year ! I am sensible how great your efforts 
must be to accomplish it. No, that maxim is not true 
which holds it ridiculous to expect that the same tender 
fondness should subsist between married persons at a 
more advanced age, which charmed their juvenile con- 
nection. My heart beats, I am certain, with as high 
throbs of affection and anxiety for our expected meeting, 
as if I were of that age when you blessed me with the 
charms of seventeen." 



" Hamburgh, August llth. I arrived here, as my 
letters from Cuxhaven have already enabled you to judge 
I would, on this morning. The mail leaves this to- 
morrow. I have letters to deliver, and lodgings to pro- 
cure, so for this day adieu." 

We had been but three days at sea, when we 
were brought to by a British privateer, who, in 
examining our papers, hit on a box of mine con- 
taining several letters from Messrs. Franklin, 
Jefferson, Rodney, and others, which I had re- 
ceived while in America. These he thought it 
necessary to examine rigidly, and kept us following 
his course, instead of our own, for two days. This 
delay put the captain so much out of humour, 
which he said was owing to me, that to pacify him 
I threw the box which contained them into the 
sea, and thus lost several which I now regret. On 
my arrival in Hamburgh I waited on Sir J ames 
Crawford, British minister at that place, and 
shewed him the above letter. He said it did not 
authorise me to expect those attentions usually re- 
ciprocal between British subjects and their mi- 
nister. As this occasioned my determination to 
leave Hamburgh, that emporium of merchandise 
and mischief, I went to Lubec, where I remained 
six months. 

[Mrs. Rowan " heard with ecstasy" of her hus- 
band's safe arrival at Hamburgh, and made instant 
preparation to meet him. Having received letters 



from Lord Clare, to facilitate her getting passports 
in London, she commenced her journey with her 
son William, and her daughters Jane and Bess. 
On her arrival at Shrewsbury, she wrote to inform 
Rowan of her progress. " As soon," says she, 
" as I have fixed a day for leaving London, I will 
write, in hopes that you will come to Ouxhaven, 
to meet a woman whose affection for you is un- 
bounded, and who at this instant is scarcely capa- 
ble of writing, from the agitation occasioned by the 
prospect of our soon being united." 

Rowan had been but a short time in Hamburgh 
before he discovered that there are worse places 
than Wilmington or Philadelphia. He there met 
with people whom he was anxious to avoid, and 
soon found himself surrounded and tormented by 
" fools and knaves." This confirmed his determi- 
nation to quit that " emporium of mischief." At 
Lubec he found it impossible to settle his family 
comfortably, as he could not procure a furnished 
house ; nor was any habitation to be hired, but 
immense old dismantled palaces, for which enor- 
mous prices were demanded. At last he was in- 
duced to think of Altona, where there were many 
English, and some Irish residents, and a number 
of French emigrants of rank. There he rented 
and furnished a handsome house. Having letters 
of introduction to many opulent merchants, both 
German and English, he soon found himself with 
his family in the midst of a pleasant society. 
From Sir Gr. Roembald, who succeeded Sir James 



Crawford at Hamburgh, he received every mark of 
kind and polite attention. Here he remained till 
the year 1803 ; and in the interval various ex- 
ertions were made by his friends to procure his 

As I rejected the petition which I could not sign, 
I will now insert a copy of one which I transmitted 
to his Majesty in July, 1802 : — 

" May it please your Majesty, 

" The humane protection afforded under 
your Majesty's government to your petitioner's wife and 
family, while crimes were imputed to him which might 
have rendered him liable to the severest penalties of the 
law, and he had taken refuge among your Majesty's ene- 
mies, has made an indelible impression on his mind. He 
could not avoid comparing, with the strongest feelings of 
gratitude, the situation of his dearest connections with the 
forlorn state which the families of emigrants experienced 
in the country to which he had fled. Under these sensa- 
tions, in the year 1795, your petitioner withdrew himself 
from France and retired to America, being determined 
to avoid even the imputation of being instrumental in dis- 
turbing the tranquillity of his own country. During 
above five years' residence in the United States, your 
petitioner resisted all inducements to a contrary conduct, 
and remained there quiet and retired, until your Majesty, 
extending your royal benevolence, was graciously pleased 
to permit his return to Europe to join his wife and 
children. Impressed with the most unfeigned attach- 
ment to your Majesty's government, in gratitude for these 
favours, conscious of the excellence of the British consti- 



tution, in which your petitioner sees with heartfelt satis- 
faction his native country participating under the late 
happy union, effected hy your Majesty's paternal wisdom 
and affection ; and assured that his conduct will not belie 
these sentiments, your petitioner approaches your Ma- 
jesty's throne at this auspicious moment, praying that 
your Majesty will condescend to extend your royal cle- 
mency to your petitioner in such manner as your Ma- 
jesty in your wisdom may think proper." 

My old and valued friend O'Byrne induced Mr. 
Steele, who was then paymaster-general, to interest 
himself in the success of this petition. He had 
been my old school-fellow and fellow-collegian at 
Cambridge ; but in after life we had lost sight of 
each other, until he so kindly took up this business. 
My friend Mr. Griffith now wrote to Lord Clare 
concerning my petition, who returned him the fol- 
lowing answer : — 

" My dear Sir, 

" The weight of business which presses on 
me in the Court of Chancery at this time renders it im- 
practicable for me to attend to any other subject. I can 
readily conjecture the object of the petition which you 
wish to shew me, and do not hesitate to say that patience 
under his most unpleasant situation, for a few months, 
will be the best policy on the part of Mr. H. Rowan, and 
whenever a definitive treaty of peace is settled will be the 
time to petition the crown ; and when that takes place, 
I should hope that his friends will be enabled to support 
his petition with effect. ■ 

" I am, dear Sir, &c. &c. 

« CLARE." 


Unfortunately for my affairs, Lord Clare died 
before the definitive treaty was concluded, and I 
thus lost, I suppose, a sincere friend, as he had 
taken up my cause unsolicited, and unknown to 

Mr. Griffith's private affairs having taken him 
about this time to London, he waited on Lord 
Pelham. From his Lordship's conversation on 
this subject, he collected that there was a good dis- 
position towards me, but that the idea of an imme- 
diate pardon had not been received by those to whom 
the subject was communicated, in such a ivay as to 
enable him to say that it could be accomplished with- 
out delay. 

I now offered, if it could in the least expedite or 
facilitate the business, that I would not return to 
Ireland, but reside in England, or elsewhere, as 
government should point out. I wrote to Lord 
Carysfort, who returned me a most polite answer, 
saying he had seen Lord Pelham ; that Mr. Steele 
had already been with his Lordship, who said that 
my affair was already in good hands. Lord Castle- 
reagh took no notice whatever of three letters 
which I had troubled him with, after his commu- 
nication with Mrs. Rowan. 

In the course of this summer Lord Castlerea^h 
was in the county of Down, and while there he 
said to my father that nothing could be done until 
parliament met. 

In December I wrote to Mr. Steele, urging the 
extreme embarrassment which my affairs were 



plunged in, and stating my intention to return to 
America in spring, if I were unsuccessful in my 

About February, Sir G. R. who had replaced 
Sir James Crawford, desired to see me ; when he 
suggested an idea of my requesting permission to 
reside some weeks in London on my private affairs, 
which he said he thought would not be refused to 
me, and he hoped would expedite the business ; at 
least he thought I should ascertain the chance I 
had of a pardon. Mrs. H. R. would not listen to 
this measure, and I dropped it. 

In the latter end of this month Sir Gr. Shee, the 
under-secretary of state, through whose hands the 
Irish affairs mostly passed, wrote to Messrs. Fitz- 
gerald and Byrne, telling them that his Majesty 
having given orders for their pardon to be made 
out, under such conditions as should appear neces- 
sary, there could be no inconvenience attending 
their return to England. I since find, by a letter 
from Mr. Fitzgerald, that they are precluded from 
returning to Ireland for the present. Mr. F. G. 
mentioned also in his letter, that Lord Pelham as 
well as Sir G. Shee had spoken handsomely of me, 
and of my pardon being under consideration ; and 
Lord Pelham desired Mr. Fitzgerald, when he 
wrote to me, to say that he desired I would not 
quit Altona. 

On the 1st of May I received a letter from Mr. 
Steele, of which the following is a copy : — ■ 



" 22d April, 1803.. 

« Dear Sir, 

" Our friend 'Byrne has from time to 
time assured me, that he would not fail to explain to you 
the cause of my silence ; and I natter myself that he has 
so far kept his promise, as to have satisfied you that it 
has not proceeded from any want of inclination on my 
part to show you ail the attention, and to give you every 
assistance in my power to afford you. I regret the un- 
avoidable delay which has taken place ; but I am inclined 
to hope that there is a disposition on the part of his Ma- 
jesty's present ministers to view your case in a favourable 
light, and to grant you every indulgence that, under all 
circumstances, you can in reason expect of them at the 
present moment. My object in writing to you at present, 
is to know from yourself whether, in case the King's 
pardon can be obtained to enable you to come and reside 
in England, on condition that you do not set your foot 
in Ireland until his Majesty's licence shall be obtained 
for that purpose, you will feel satisfied for the present, 
and accept it on these terms ? or whether the mere per- 
mission to come to England is of no value to you, unless 
you can be restored to the full possession and enjoyment 
of liberty to return to your native country, and reside 
there without molestation ? I am not authorised to pro- 
mise you that the cabinet will go even this length ; but 
I am induced to think they will, from something that has 
passed this morning ; and I therefore write in haste, 
rather than lose a single day in communicating my sen- 
timents to you. 

" I hope this letter will arrive safe at the place of its 
destination, and must beg you will forward your answer 
to me in whatever manner you think best. 

u In the mean time, I remain yours very faithfully, 




" Jltona, May 3d, 1803. 

" Dear Sir, 

" I received your letter of the 22d April, 
for which I return you my sincere thanks. I am per- 
fectly aware of the many impediments which present 
themselves when there is a question of granting me a 
pardon. If it could he obtained on the condition you 
mention, of not going to Ireland without his Majesty's 
license for that purpose, I should think myself favoured, 
and would accept it with a degree of gratitude which I 
might attempt to describe, but which will be best seen by 
my future demeanor. Nine years' banishment and a 
sorrowful experience, which has altered many of my 
opinions, I hope will be accepted as some atonement ; 
and I dare affirm that there will not be one to whom his 
Majesty's pardon has been extended, who will feel the 
favour more sensibly, or attempt with more zeal to re- 
pair his former errors, by future example and precept, 
than I should. I flatter myself you will continue your 
kind exertions in my behalf, and believe me when I say 
how highly I value, and how much I am indebted to 
your friendship. 

" I am, &c. &c. 

" A. H. ROWAN." 


" Mansfield-street, May \8tk, 1803. 

" Dear Sir, 

" It is with infinite satisfaction that I 
announce to you the determination of the cabinet, to re- 
commend to the King to grant you his pardon on the 



condition mentioned in my last letter, and on your enter- 
ing into the usual recognizances that are required in cases 
of this sort. If the state of affairs in your neighbourhood 
should he such as to make your residence in Altona for a 
few days longer very uncomfortable, you may venture to 
set out for England immediately after you shall receive 
this letter, and on your arrival at Harwich you will find 
the officers at that port instructed to suffer you to pass 
without molestation ; but as his Majesty's warrant cannot 
receive the royal signature for some days, it may be more 
prudent to remain where you are until you shall hear 
from me ; and I shall abstain from writing again, till 
your letter shall reach me. I have this moment received 
authority from the Secretary of State to communicate 
these particulars to you, and am unwilling to lose one 
day's post in making you acquainted therewith. 
" I write in haste, and am yours very faithfully, 



" Altona, May 30th, 1803. 

" My Lord, 

" I embrace the first opportunity of 
acknowledging the honour of your Lordship's letter of 
the 23d instant, (congratulating me on the news which I 
had received by the prior mail,) and thanking you for this 
mark of polite attention to me. 

" I shall lose no time in rendering myself in London, 
but hope that the affairs in this part of the world will 
permit me to wait for Mrs. Rowan's convalescence. 

" I am extremely concerned that your Lordship should 



have had the trouble of writing a second letter, as the one 
to Hamburgh will probably find its way here, after some 
delay. When I arrive in London, I shall do myself the 
honour of paying my respects to you in person. 

" I am, my Lord, your obedient servant, 

" A. H. ROWAN." 

Having arrived in London on the 1 6th of J une, 
I went the next day to the Secretary of State's 
office with Mr. Steele. He introduced me to Mr. 
Pollock, who showed me the King's warrant for 
pardon, which contained all the beneficial clauses 
of re-grant, &c. and was as full in every respect as 
it could be, excepting the condition of requiring 
two sureties for ^10,000 not to go to Ireland. 
Mr. Pollock said one week would be sufficient to 
pass the different offices ; and Mr. Steele requested 
him to attend to it, and as soon as the instrument 
returned to his office, to inform him ; and he with 
my friend Mr. Griffith offered to become my sureties. 

My agent arrived from Ireland, bringing with 
him the opinions of eminent counsel, which all 
agreed that a pardon under the great seal of Britain 
alone would avail me no otherwise than as to my 
personal liberty in England. I here copy the 
opinion of two eminent lawyers on that subject, 
which I received through Mr. Marsden. 

" Dublin Castle, October 21th, 1802. 

" We are of opinion, that the pardon to Mr. Hamilton 
Rowan ought to be passed under the great seal of Ire- 


land ; and we apprehend it is irregular in Mr. Rowan to 
solicit such pardon and the restitution of his lands in 
Ireland from his Majesty in the first instance ; and that 
such application ought to be made to his Excellency the 
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. 

« S. O'GRADY. 


During the whole of Mr. Addington's adminis- 
t ration all my applications to go over to Ireland 
to plead my pardon were unavailing ; and I was 
told that the government had already done all that 
was in their contemplation by permitting me to re- 
side in Eno-land. On a change of the administra- 
tion, I drew up a memorial which I took to Lord 
Castlereagh ; he read it over, and when he came to 
the part which related to my children, he inquired 
into their ages, and then with a great appearance 
of good nature, asked me whether I should choose 
to send one of them to the East Indies in the mili- 
tary line ; or perhaps I might choose to send one 
to the academy at Woolwich. I apologised to him 
for desiring time to consider before I accepted an 
offer which I w r as certain many persons solicited 
from him ; but that I had taken much pains to 
instil into the mind of the only one who was of an 
age to profit by his friendly offer, the wish to be- 
come a merchant, and if I found I had succeeded, 
I should be sorry to change or force his inclination. 
W%en I informed him of the refusal of the Chan- 
cellor to affix the great seal to the pardon, he asked 



me whether I was acquainted with his motives. I 
answered that I was ignorant of them, and did not 
wish to know more than whether it was founded on 
any misrepresentation of my conduct either here 
or in Germany. He assured me that ministers 
were well satisfied as to my past, and secure as to 
my future behaviour. 

Had Lord Ellenborough, when he refused to put 
the great seal to the pardon prepared through Mr. 
Steele, informed me of the difficulty, it would have 
saved me some years of anxiety. 

But previous to any further step being taken, a 
change in the ministry induced me to apply to the 
Duke of Portland to alter the form of the pardon, 
that I might be permitted to enjoy a permanent 
instead of a temporary residence in Ireland. This 
being acceded to, in a few days I went over to Ire- 
land and pleaded my pardon in the King's Bench. 

The following is an extract from one of the 
morning papers, relative to the proceedings on that 
occasion : — 

" Mr. Archibald Hamilton Rowan was brought up by 
habeas corpus, to assign error upon the record of out- 
lawry against him for high treason. His counsel then 
moved that the outlawry should be reversed, for errors 
which were then delivered in to the proper officer. The 
Attorney-General then, by virtue of his Majesty's warrant, 
confessed the errors ; and the proceedings in outlawry 
were reversed accordingly. Mr. Rowan was then put to 
plead to the original indictment for high treason ; upon 
which he pleaded his Majesty's most gracious pardon, 



which being read and allowed, he was told that he was 

? Mr. Rowan then addressed the court. He begged 
to be pennitted in a few words to express his heartfelt 
gratitude for the clemency of his sovereign. 

" ' When I last (said he) had the honour to stand in 
this court before your Lordship, I said that I did not 
know the King otherwise than as the head of the state — 
as a magistrate wielding the force of the executive power. 
I now know him by his clemency — by that clemency 
which has enabled me once more to meet my wife and 
children ; to find them not only unmolested, but cherished 
and protected during my absence in a foreign country, 
and my legal incapacity of rendering to them the assist- 
ance of a husband and a father. Were I to be insensible 
of that clemency, I should be indeed an unworthy man ! 
All are liable to error. The consequences have taught 
me deeply to regret some of the violent measures which 
I then pursued. Under the circumstances in which I 
stand, were I to express all I feel upon this subject, it 
might be attributed to base and unworthy motives ; but 
your Lordships are aware how deeply I must be affected 
by my present situation, and will give me credit for what 
I cannot myself express.' " 

Lord Chief Justice Dowries. " Mr. Rowan, from the 
sentiments which you have expressed, I have reason to 
hope that your future conduct will prove that his Ma- 
jesty's pardon has not been unworthily granted." 

I then left the court, and in a few days returned 
to London. 

[Various influences were employed to secure the 



success of Mr. Rowan's memorial for pardon ; and 
among these, that of the Marquis of Abercorn was 
not the least instrumental. Between that noble- 
man and Mr. Rowan a friendly correspondence 
had been carried on in the year 1793. Though 
differing widely in their political views, the former 
had great esteem for Rowan's personal character, and 
for his " manliness and sincerity." Each expressed 
an earnest solicitude for the good of Ireland, but 
held opposite views of the mode in which that good 
was to be effected. The Marquis writes : — 

" When we meet, I shall with great pleasure discuss 
the subjects touched upon in your letter, because I am 
sure that even where we differ in opinion, (which I very 
much question whether ultimately we shall,) the discus- 
sion will be friendly and good-humoured. All I will say 
now is, that I should doubly defy bad, interested, and 
cunning men, if they had not the fortune to get men of 
honour, sense, and integrity, (on abstract principles,) to 
fight their battles for them." Again he writes : — " I 
would throw down my gauntlet to all the world, and 
maintain that that world does not hold one man more 
attached to Ireland and its real interests and happiness 
than myself." 

After Mr. Rowan's incarceration the correspon- 
dence dropped. But in 1804, in consequence of 
some friendly attentions paid to his son, who had 
entered the navy, and of some kind expressions 
made by the Marquis in regard to himself, Mr. 
Rowan addressed him, reminding him of their 



former friendship, and requesting his influence with 
Lord Hawkesbury to have the prayer of his me- 
morial granted. In reply, he was assured by his 
Lordship, that " without looking back to past irre- 
mediable circumstances, he would have great plea- 
sure in being instrumental in relieving him from 
his embarrassment s." He adds, " Your son is a 
fine gallant young fellow, whose conduct has done 
him great credit.'"' Indeed the Marquis of Aber- 
corn seems to have taken a particular interest in 
behalf of this son, (afterwards Captain Hamilton,) 
as he mentions his name repeatedly in his letters. 
In one he writes, " I have had a very favourable 
answer from Lord Nelson on the subject of your 
son.'" And in another, after congratulating Mr. 
Rowan on the termination of his difficulties and 
embarrassments, he subjoins : — " I am afraid the 
death of Lord Nelson has been an irreparable loss 
to my young friend your son. " 

Mr. Rowan, as might be anticipated, was con- 
gratulated warmly and sincerely by numerous 
friends ; and most if not all of his political oppo- 
nents were well pleased that he should be restored 
to his country and family . Lords Carysfort, Cas- 
tlereagh, and Carhampton were foremost in ex- 
pressions of kindness. In private life he had no 
enemies ; and those who had been adverse to him 
on public grounds suffered their hostility to be 
absorbed in respect for the virtues which adorned 
his character, as a husband, a father, and a philan- 




Mr. Rowan returns to Ireland — his character as a landlord- 
Meeting- of his tenants — Assists the silk-manufacturers — 
Courted by strangers — Percy Bysshe Shelley — His corres- 
pondents — Letter from Margarot — John Hancock — "William 
Poole — Csesar Rodney — Rowan's taste for politics — subscribes 
to the Catholic Association — Letter to Lord Pingall — Attacked 
in the House of Commons by Messrs. Dawson and Peel — De- 
fended by Messrs. Hutchinson and Brougham. 

We are now to contemplate Mr. Rowan under 
a different aspect, not as a political leader — not as 
an exile far from his country and friends, strug- 
gling for independence among a people of uncon- 
genial tastes and pursuits — but as a man of for- 
tune, a landlord, husband, father, citizen, dis- 
charging the duties of his respective situations 
with fidelity, and enjoying the approbation of his 

Having remained some time in England, he re- 
turned to Ireland on the death of his father, in 
1806, and chose as his chief place of residence the 
ancient castle of Killileagh, on his own patrimonial 
estate in the county of Down. As he had large, 
though scattered properties in different parts of 
Ireland, and also in England, he found ample 



occupation in superintending their management, 
especially as he had no regular agent for some 
years ; but attended personally to the claims and 
obligations of his tenants. It now became his am- 
bition to show them an example of a good landlord ; 
and accordingly he lent a patient ear to their va- 
rious complaints and suggestions, redressed their 
grievances if they had any, and did all in the com- 
pass of his power to render them contented and 
happy. He reduced to practise the liberal prin- 
ciples of which he had always been the strenuous 
advocate, and proved that his actions were in no 
wise discordant with his words. He was no mock 
patriot, who coukl dictate a rule to others by which 
he would not himself abide. He could not declaim 
upon freedom while adhering to the principles of 
the slave trade ; preach reformation, without being 
himself reformed ; nor sacrifice a general or a 
public good to a partial or private interest. His 
own sufferings in a foreign land would have taught 
him some sympathy for fellow-sufferers, though 
his own natural disposition had been less generous 
and benignant. As a proof of the high estimation 
in which he was held, and in which he deserved to 
be held, as a landlord, it may suffice to state that 
at a time when gold was exceedingly scarce, and 
to be procured only by paying an enormous pre- 
mium, the agents of many landlords, some of them 
holding titles of nobility, insisted on having their 
rents paid in that coin, and were known to sell, at 
an exorbitant profit, the very gold which was to be 



paid back by their tenants at the ordinary rate as 
rent, before it left their office — a process by which 
the rich landlords were still farther enriched, while 
their struggling tenants were harrassed and op- 
pressed. — Mr. Rowan not only declined such a 
mode of filling his coffers, but without solicitation 
reduced his rents, and partook with the occupants 
of his estate in the common distress. This fact is 
well attested by the following resolution passed at 
a meeting of his tenants held in Killileagh, on the 
24th day of October, 1814, 

" Resolved — That our best thanks are due, and are 
hereby given to Archibald Hamilton Rowan, Esq. not so 
much for his unsolicited reduction of our rents, as for 
that patriotic liberality which induced him to meet and 
share the distress of the day with his tenantry. 

" We remember with gratitude, that even in better 
times he never adopted the oppressive system of exacting 
discounts on his rents ; and whilst we recall to our re- 
collection the Hon. Judge Fletcher's enlightened and 
liberal exposition of the means by which the internal 
peace and concord of the country may be preserved, we 
venerate the man who has thus reduced it to practice. * 
' Go ye and do likewise.' 

" Signed by order, 


* " In the opinion of Judge Fletcher, the evils of Ireland at 
that time arose from, 1st, the enormous paper currency ; 2d, a 
meddling and incapable magistracy ; 3d, absentee landlords ; 
4th, orange societies ; 5th, illicit distillation ; 6th, tithes." 



There was another circumstance in re<rard to his 
tenantry, which, in the estimation of some persons, 
argues a still greater degree of liberality than even 
the reduction of rents. He did not use that in- 
fluence which landlords may be justly supposed to 
possess in constraining their political opinions or 
conduct. He claimed no right to the disposal of 
their votes in the election of representatives to 
parliament, but left every man free to vote accord- 
ing to the dictates of his own discretion. But 
when his counsel and advice were useful, they were 
not withheld ; and these he gave as a friend, not 
as a dictator. It was his earnest wish to promote 
" peace on earth and good will among 111611," espe- 
cially among the occupants of his own estate ; and 
he often succeeded by a gentle word, or good-na- 
tured remonstrance, when a rude interference 
would have only created jealousy and discord. 
Of the kind mode in which he soothed irritated 
feelings, and prevented the outbursts of animosity, 
while he inculcated philanthropic principles, the 
subjoined address, which he got printed and circu- 
lated prior to the first of May, 1816, may serve as 
an example worthy of imitation. 


" The 1st of May approaches. This day was rendered 
a scene of tumult and disorder last year, as I am told, 
by the accidental placing the May-pole where an ill- 


omened tree* had been formerly planted. That tree, to 
flourish, must grow out of the famed equality of rights 
under the British constitution, and a real representation 
of the people in parliament ; it must he fostered by bro- 
therly love and universal benevolence, and not be trans- 
planted from a foreign soil. 

" It is not the wish of any person to prevent the 
people from enjoying festivities handed down to us by 
our ancestors, and exercised without discord, or a mani- 
fest tendency thereto. 

" I know not whether a May-pole will be erected this 
year or not ; perhaps I should say not, on accoimt of the 
general distress. But if it should, as old men are fond 
of story-telling, I will tell you one : — 

" When I was in Germany, I lodged in a hotel the 
master and mistress of which were renowned for rudeness 
to their guests, f The custom of that country is that 
the travellers eat with the hostess, who sits at the head of 
her table. JVIy family had experienced every attention 
from these people ; and on leaving the house, we ex- 
pressed our surprise to our German servant, who had a 
smattering of English. He replied — ' You were civil 
against them ; why should not they be civil against you ?' " 

" KiMleagh, April 24th, 1816." 

* The French tree of liberty. 

| This may remind the reader of the Diversoria of Erasmus, 
in whose days the rude incivility of German inns afforded a fine 
subject for caustic and witty animadversion. Advenientem nemo 
salutat, ne videantur ambire hospitem. Id enim sordidum et ab- 
jectum existimant, et indignum Germanica severitate. — Si quid 
causseris, staiim audis, si non placet, quaere aliud diver- 




Mr. Rowan's benevolence was by no means 
confined to his tenantry. He was universally 
esteemed as the poor man's friend ; the manu- 
facturing classes hailed him as a benefactor, for 
whose exertions in their behalf they expressed the 
warmest gratitude. He devoted much of his time 
and thoughts to meliorate the condition of the silk 
manufacturers of Dublin, and his efforts were not 
fruitless.* In 1818, the working ribbon-weavers of 
the city and liberties of Dublin presented him with 
an address expressive of their " respect and regard 
towards him, for the many services he had ren- 
dered them by his unwearied assiduity and atten- 
tion to their interests as a Member of the Dublin 
Society, during a I0112: and intricate discussion of 
their trade and in particular for his benevo- 
lent act of condescension, in personally coming for- 
ward to advocate their cause in a court of justice, 
and thereby establishing a precedent to put down 
oppression." In his reply, after stating that his 
exertions were repaid by their affectionate approba- 
tion of his conduct, he observes, that " the prince 
and the peasant have their respective duties to 
fulfil. Great indeed is the difference between them, 
and from the extent of those incumbent on the 
upper classes, I learn how difficult it is for a rich 
man to enter the kingdom of heaven. But I trust 

* The lamplighters were another class, who, feeling themselves 
aggrieved, applied to Mr. Rowan to become then- advocate ; and 
not without success. 




the prayers of the poor will not be disregarded at 
that awful moment when worldly distinctions are 
no more 1" 

This was followed, in the year 1823, by an ad- 
dress of the operative broad silk manufacturers. 
» This address 

" Most Respectfully Sheweth, 

" That they behold, with grateful 
admiration, the true spirit of patriotism, loyalty, and in- 
dependent perseverance ever supported and evinced by 
you, from youth even to venerable age, for the welfare of 
all classes of your fellow-countrymen ; that they now 
view, with peculiar satisfaction, your ardent zeal and un- 
remitting exertions, in the evening of life, to remove the 
prejudice, monopoly, and oppressive taxation, under which 
the inhabitants of this city have long laboured and com- 
plained. That the operative broad silk manufacturers 
avail themselves of this opportunity of acknowledging the 
many and signal services individually and collectively 
received from you, Sir, and they now earnestly entreat 
you to accept of this very humble tribute of their grateful, 
unanimous, and most sincere thanks, &c. &c. &c." 

the answer. 

" My worthy Friends, 

" I feel great pleasure at all times in 
communicating with my fellow-citizens, and particularly 
with the operative silk manufacturers of Dublin, whose 
friendship I have so long possessed, and by whom my 
attentions (for services they cannot be called) are much 


over-rated by your flattering expressions, independently 
of the elegantly adorned ticket of admission into your 
society, which you have done me the honor of presenting 
to me. With a heart throbbing for the miseries of my 
country, my head and hand, old and feeble as they are, 
acquire fresh energy when convinced that I am following 
the precepts laid down by our gracious Sovereign, and so 
ardently pursued by our benevolent Viceroy, for the 
' welfare of every class of my fellow-countrymen.' As to 
the particular instance of the examination into the local 
taxation of Dublin, under which its citizens have so long 
groaned, its weight has been supported by abler shoulders ; 
it has been brought before a British parliament, which 
has declared in favour of part of our allegations. They 
are still under investigation ; and we may be assured of a 
full inquiry and ample justice. Farewell. 

" A. H. ROWAN." 

u 29th May, 1823." 

Years now rolled away unmarked by any events 
in Mr. Rowan's life which require particular notice. 
With several of his friends, both at home and 
abroad, he kept up a regular correspondence ; and 
his reputation for generosity subjected him to more 
frequent applications for pecuniary assistance than 
it would be proper to disclose, while his political 
character induced some to expect his co-operation 
in projects which it would have been most impru- 
dent and dangerous to support. Literary and 
scientific strangers* sought his acquaintance ; and 

* The Due de Montebello, Monsieur Duvergier, and Messieurs 




whether a Shelley, a Spurzheim, or an Owen came 
to enlighten the good citizens of Dublin, he was 
sure to find in Rowan a kind and hospitable friend. 

In February, 1812, the celebrated poet Percy 
Bysshe Shelley paid a visit to Dublin, having, as 
he informs us, " selected Ireland as a theatre the 
widest and fairest for the operations of the deter- 
mined friends of religious and political freedom. " 
In pursuance of this design, he published a pamph- 
let entitled " An Address to the Irish People " with 
an advertisement on the title-page declaring it to 
be the author's " intention to awaken in the minds 
of the Irish poor a knowledge of their real state, 
summarily pointing out the evils of that state, and 
suggesting rational means of remedy." As the 
name and character of Rowan must have been fa- 
miliar to Shelley, he expected to find in him a 
zealous coadjutor, and accordingly he sent him a 
copy of the pamphlet, with the following letter : — 

" 1, Lower SackviUe-street, February 25th, 1812. 

" Sir, 

" Although I have not the pleasure of 
being personally known to you, I consider the motives 
which actuated me in writing the inclosed, sufficiently in- 
troductory to authorise me in sending you some copies, 

de Thayer, being " on a voyage of discovery, and wishing very 
much to know what is most distinguished in this country," re- 
quested H. Lytton Bulwer, Esq. to introduce them to Rowan ; a 
request which was complied with in the most polite terms accord- 


and waiving ceremonials in a case where public benefit is 
concerned. Sir, although an Englishman, I feel for Ire- 
land ; and I have left the country, in which the chance 
of birth placed me, for the sole purpose of adding my 
little stock of usefulness to the fund which I hope that 
Ireland possesses to aid me in the unequal vet sacred 
combat in which she is engaged. In the course of a few 
days more I shall print another small pamphlet, which 
shall be sent to you. I have intentionally vulgarized the 
language of the inclosed. I have printed 1,500 copies, 
and am now distributing them throughout Dublin. 
" Sir, with respect, 

I am your obedient humble sen-ant, 

" P. B. SHELLEY." 

How the letter and pamphlet were received does 
not appear, though it cannot be doubted that Mr. 
Rowan treated the young enthusiast with his 
wonted courtesy and hospitality. It is probable, 
however, that Shelley soon discovered that Ireland 
was not so favourable a " theatre for his opera- 
tions," nor the Irish people of a temperament so 
combustible as his own ardent imagination had led 
him to expect. 

In 1813, Mr. Rowan received a letter from 
Maurice Margarot, the " Scottish martyr," who, 
after a tedious exile, had returned to England with 
his wife, this faithful companion in all his misfor- 
tunes, who, " after numberless fatigues and dan- 
gers, dared yet to hope for better days." He re- 
minds Rowan of their having met nearly twenty 



years ago, after a short intercourse, to part, each 
to encounter a long series of tribulation and perse- 
cution. He had returned to England with " prin- 
ciples unchanged, a ministerial victim, pinned down 
to penury in a place where he can do no good." 
He asks " the temporary assistance of ^400 ; as a 
chrysalis, warmed by the genial heat of the sun, 
receives therefrom animation, so that assistance 
will afford new life, and without producing a but- 
terfly, will, notwithstanding, give me wings." 
Though Mr. Rowan's intercourse with Margarot 
had been very brief, and there could be no claim 
on the ground of past intimacy, such an appeal 
from an old sufferer in the same cause was not to 
be treated with neglect ; he wrote to him kindly, 
and sent him a draft for £100, which was as large 
a sum as, at that time, he could with prudence or 
justice afford. Margarot. in returning his acknow- 
ledgements, says w that sum will enable him, if 
not to soar, at least to make his way in a more 
humble manner, somewhat like an ostrich." After 
his return to England he " endeavoured to collect 
the scattered fragments of a small fortune, broken 
to atoms in the public service." He then projected 
a history of New South Wales, from which, with 
the sanguine hopes of an inexperienced author, he 
anticipated a mine of riches. In reply to a letter 
of Rowan's, he writes : — 

" With regret, but without surprise, I hear you say 
your spirit is broken down. Believe me, however, you 


are somewhat mistaken in this ; it only sleepeth. The 
storm-beaten mariner does not therefore forsake the sea, 
but refreshed only awaits a favourable breeze to again 
unfurl his sails. 

" Your trip to, and adventures in America reached 
even New South Wales, embellished with a decent por- 
tion of scandal and calumny, for vexat censura columbas, 
&c. Your ill success in trade most likely originated in 
your being placed out of your sphere. My illustrious 

debtors, the B s, in your place would have thriven 

from a contrary reason. It is much easier to assume the 
gentleman than to lay it aside." 

About this time, Mr. Rowan commenced a cor- 
respondence with John Hancock of Lisburn, with 
whose sentiments on several important subjects he 
accorded. " I have long admired,"" says he, " the 
reasons printed by this intelligent and patriotic 
gentleman for withdrawing from the society of 
Friends ; I never met any thing so entirely agree- 
ing with my ideas." Much of their correspondence 
was occupied in the discussion of political topics, 
and particularly the proceedings of the Orange 
societies, to which both of them were exceedingly 
adverse. Subjects of literature and religion also 
occasionally engaged their attention. 

It must have been gratifying to Rowan to re- 
ceive such approval of his good deeds as is con- 
tained in the following extract from Mr. Hancock's 
correspondence : — 

" Lisburn, 2d month, 1817. 
" I applaud thy exertions in favour of the silk -weavers. 



I am completely with thee in thy reasonings in their 
favour ; and I am pleased to see thee stand forward as the 
tribune of the people on this occasion. The common 
calamity affecting all classes of the community necessarily 
leads to disputes between the employers and the em- 
ployed, in the struggle of each class trying to shift the 
back-breaking load off themselves ; but I fear all will be 
in vain, without a total change of the system." 

" Lishurrii 2d monili, 19th, 1817. 

" I perceive, by thy letter of the 18th instant, that the 
kindness and generosity of thy disposition have led thee 
into some perplexities, in endeavouring to succour the 
oppressed and to defend the defenceless. I hope thou 
wilt persevere in the task, however unpleasant, and, sup- 
ported by the ' mens conscia recti,' set at nought the 

difficulties which may stand in the way Lord Byron, 

who, with all his foibles, continues the poet of liberty, has 
in his last canto of Childe Harold prophesied well, and 
I hope truly, of the march of mind : — 

" But this will not endure nor be endured ; 

Mankind have felt their strength, and made it felt. 
They might have used it better ; but allured 

By their own vigour, sternly have they dealt 

With one another. Pity ceased to melt 
With her once natural charities.' 

" I am inclined to risque one more quotation ; he 
gives it as descriptive of his own character ; I consider it 
as decidedly worthy of imitation : — 

* I have not lov'd the world, nor the world me ; 

I have not flattered its rank breath, nor bowed 
To its idolatries a patient knee ; 

Nor coined my cheek to smiles, nor cried aloud 

In worship of an echo. In the crowd 
They could not deem me one of such : I stood 

Among them, but not of them.' 


With his American friends, particularly with 
Rodney and Poole, he preserved a friendly inter- 
course till their decease. The former, in 1811, 
writes from Washington, " What pleasure would 
it give me to see you once more ! for I well re- 
member your attachment, and your trip to Balston 
for me. {See page 343.) I wish you would come 
and settle on the banks of the Brandywine ; your 
old friends would hail you with acclamations of 


Of this distinguished American lawyer and 
statesman the reader may be pleased to read the 
following account, in a letter addressed by Mr. 


" Sir, 

" The approaching decision of the United 
States of America, on the mission sent by Mr. Monroe 
to South America, appears to me pregnant with conse- 
quences, ultimately, and perhaps not distantly, affecting 
the liberties of both hemispheres. 

" You have published the report of Caesar A. Rodney, 
which was submitted by the president to the American 
legislature. It may gratify some of your readers to be- 
come more intimate with that gentleman. 

" During a few years' residence in the town of Wil- 
mington, on the Delaware, I was happy enough to acquire 
the friendship of Mr. Rodney. He is of middling stature, 
has an ample forehead, rather fair complexion, a quick 
eye, and prepossessing contour of countenance. Mild in 
s 3 



his manners, but determined in his conduct, he is of a 
retired and domestic turn of mind, living in the bosom of 
his family, with a most amiable wife. He practised as a 
barrister, with a proper sense of the dignity of that cha- 
racter. Frequently have I known him refuse a fee from 
a client, whose cause he thought might be unsuccessful, 
and constantly rejected any application to support a bad 
cause ; and this he did while he enjoyed a very moderate 
income, and saw a young family increasing around him. 
His father, Thomas Rodney, was of the same stamp. He 
had been much persecuted by the malevolents, both in 
person and property, during the pursuit of that represen- 
tative constitution, which is now the pride and the glory 
of the United States of North America. On Mr. Jeffer- 
son's election as president, in 1801, when the spirit of 
1776 seemed to revive in America, he was called upon to 
represent the state of Delaware in congress, and his father 
was appointed chief justice of the Mississippi territory. 

" In 1806, Mr. Rodney was appointed by Mr. Jefferson 
Attorney -General of the United States, a situation of great 
confidence, as being a member of the cabinet, and of 
great knowledge and labour, being continually called 
upon by the President, the heads of Departments, and the 
Congress, to give written legal opinions; as also to attend 
all arguments in the Supreme Court. 

" In 1809, the writer of this received a letter from Mr. 
Rodney, containing the following extract, which is in- 
serted to prove how much Mr. Jefferson and his friends 
were misrepresented in this country at that time : — e On 
politics I shall say nothing ; it would not be proper for 
me, and particularly to yourself, except that I hope most 
sincerely war between the two countries may be averted. 
It is a desolating calamity which I deplore, and should 


wish to avoid.' He then continued to predict, what was 
found to be the case, that if war must corne, the American 
people, notwithstanding the reports to the contrary, would 
act with an union and energy unexampled in history. 

Mr. Rodney retired from the office of Attorney-General 
in the early part of Mr. Maddison's presidency. 

From some extracts Mr. Rodney permitted me to make 
out, of an interesting account and genealogised history of 
his family,* written by Sir Edward Rodney, about 1640, 
he appears to be descended from William, a fourth son of 
Sir John de Rodney, whose two sons, William and 
Caesar, by his wife Alice, daughter of Sir Thomas Caesar, 
had emigrated during the civil wars. The former went to 
Antigua, and the latter to America, where he settled in 
the county of Kent, State of Delaware, and was the an- 
cestor of Caesar A. Rodney. 

" Cresar Rodney, whose name appears as having signed 
the declaration of American independence, on behalf of 
the people of the State of Delaware, was uncle to this 

" As I have the pen in hand, although I fear I have 
taken up too much of your paper already, I cannot avoid 
subjoining, from the genealogy to which I have alluded, 
two anecdotes, which perhaps were not known to those 
who furnished Mr. Playfair with the accoimt of this noble 

* The " genealogised history" to which reference is made in 
this letter, deduces the Rodney family from the time of the Em- 
press Maud, with whom Walter de Kodney came into England, 
an officer of her army and household. From him descended the 
illustrious Lord Rodney, Admiral of the British fleet, who, during 
the American revolution, obtained a decisive victory over the 
Count de Grasse. 



" The first relates to Sir Richard de Rodney, who 
married the daughter of Sir Osbert Gifford, and is taken 
notice of by Selden, in his Titles of Honour, as having 
been girded with his sword by the Earl of Pembroke, 
while his two spurs, at the ceremony of his being knighted, 
were put on, the one by the Lord Marquis of Berkeley, , 
and the other by Lord Bartholomew Badismere. 

" The second is, that Sir Maurice de Rodney, who is 
mentioned by Mr. Playfair as being high sheriff of So- 
mersetshire, in the time of Queen Elizabeth, is therein 
said to have been the first person in that county who 
dressed his servants in livery ; and, during the twelve ho- 
lidays, killed a bullock each day to regale the people. 

" Excuse the length of this effusion concerning an ab- 
sent and highly esteemed friend. 

" A. H. R." 

" Dublin, January 4th, 1819." 

Of this " esteemed friend 1 ' it may prove not un- 
interesting to the reader to hear that in 1823 he 
went as Ambassador from the United States to 
Buenos Ayres, but in such a miserable state of 
health, that it was doubtful whether he should 
reach his destination. The year after, Mr. Rowan 
received the following account of his death, from 
their mutual friend, William Poole : — ■ 

" Sth month Wth, 1824. After a long and, no doubt, 
anxious decline, (on account of his large family) Rodney 
bade adieu to this chequered scene on the 10th day of 
June last, and was buried with all those trivial honours 
which weak man can bestow, and a monument ordered to 
bs erected to his memory by ' a grateful people.' Plow- 


ever, I estimate these things at a very low rate, as I re- 
collect that a monument was to have been erected by the 
Congress of the United States to the memory of George 
Washington, nearly forty years since. It is still unexe- 
cuted ; nor is it in any point of view of much importance, 
as his memory has a more substantial record than brass 
or marble." 

Mr. Rowan's benevolent exertions to meliorate 
the circumstances of all around him who were in 
distress, did not so completely engross his time 
and reflections as to preclude him from indulging 
his favorite propensity to politics. It was not 
possible for him to be a dull unconcerned spectator 
in the midst of great and stirring events. Thougli 
he felt the full weight of his obligation to the 
lenity of government, he did not feel himself 
precluded from an open and honest expression of 
opinions which he thought loyal and constitutional, 
though not always in exact accordance with those 
of the ruling powers. His acceptance of pardon 
involved no dereliction of principle ; it did not 
oblige him to connive at glaring abuses, nor give 
an ostensible sanction to measures which he con- 
scientiously condemned ; it restored him to the 
full enjoyment of all his rights as a subject of 
the British constitution. It had been generously 
granted, and in the same generous spirit it was 
received — in the spirit of a gentleman and a man 
of honour, not of a mendicant or a slave. He 
therefore clung to such opinions and measures as 
he thought most consentaneous to the spirit of the 



British constitution, and which would best pro- 
mote its permanence and stability. In a letter 
addressed to the editor of the Patriot newspaper, 
in 1811, speaking of the sentiments adopted in his 
youth, he says — " Of these his Majesty in his 
pardon had not required, nor my petitions pro- 
mised a renunciation." 

There were some, notwithstanding, who thought 
it would have been most becoming in him to ab- 
stain altogether from politics, and confine himself 
entirely to the quiet and unobtrusive concerns of 
private life. But restraint either upon his thoughts 
or his actions would have been to deprive him of 
one of the highest gratifications for which pardon 
was solicited. Exile, with liberty of thought and 
of speech abroad, was preferable to • mental slavery 
and tacit submission to wrong at home. He was 
not, for the sake of one good, to sacrifice another 
which he deemed more estimable, 

" Nec propter vitam vivendi perdere causas." — Juv. 

" To purchase safety with compliance base, 

At honour's cost a feverish span extend, 

And sacrifice for life, life's only end. " — Gifford. 

In 1820, while the whole population of the 
British isles was deeply interested in the investi- 
gation of the conduct of Queen Caroline, Mr. 
B/Owan was solicited by some of her friends in 
London, to take an active part in promoting peti- 
tions from Dublin to have her name inserted in 
the liturgy. He regarded that unfortunate woman 


as an object of persecution, therefore of sympathy ; 
and though he discouraged the attempt to get up 
the " petitions," as impracticable, he joined in an 
address from the glovers and skinners, which he 
forwarded to the Duke of Leinster;, to be presented, 
with a package of gloves, to her Majesty. 

Being always regarded as a distinguished friend 
of civil and religious liberty, he became a member 
of the Catholic Association, and took, as he was 
wont, a warm interest in its proceedings. A meet- 
ing of the Catholic board, which was held in Fish- 
amble- street, being dispersed, and having reassem- 
bled as an ao-greo-ate meeting, he addressed the 

Oft O o' 

following letter to Lord Fingal : — 
" My Lord, 

" Will your Lordship excuse a few 
desultory observations on what all must allow to be a 
most critical period for Ireland, to be offered by one 
whose zeal in the cause of religious liberty is his only 
plea for this intrusion. 

" The Catholics of Ireland were prepared this day to 
read a petition to parliament, in Fishamble-street, when 
they were prevented by a police magistrate, who chose 
to consider that meeting as an illegal one, and forced 
your Lordship out of the chair. I was a spectator of 
that disgraceful scene, where legal quibble was tortured 
to entrap the feelings of a man of honour, unaccustomed 
to disguise, because his pursuits were honourable, and 
legal, and constitutional. That meeting, however, being 
dispersed, the general sentiment of an injured and in- 
sulted population led to an assembly of individuals at 



Darcy's, at which I assisted. That meeting was also 
disturbed by the same magistrate ; and I am not sur- 
prised ; but I am concerned that those circumstances 
should have altered the ultimate object of the former 
meeting, from a petition to parliament into an address to 
the Prince Regent. 

" This alternative gave rise to much discussion, and 
the delay of some days, until this new measure should 
be matured. Why could not that petition, which has 
been fully debated and maturely considered, and which, 
if the arm of power had not interfered, would probably 
have been accepted as the petition of the Catholics, stand 
as the petition of an aggregate meeting recommended by 
the committee appointed this day ? 

" One great motive with me for persevering in the 
petition is, that every new direction given to the public 
will presents a new view and new debates ; the people 
are divided, and our enemy acquires force. On adhering 
to your petition, there would be little discussion, and no 
dissention. Appeals to persons are not equal to appeals 
to principles. One law ought to bind Catholic and Pro- 
testant, Jew or Mahometan, if Irishmen. This has ever 
been my creed, and will ever be the rule of action for, 

" My Lord, 
" Your respectful and obedient servant, 

" A. H. ROWAN." 

" December 23d, 1811." 

Of the cause of " Catholic emancipation" he had 
always been a strenuous advocate. He thought 
the success of that great question absolutely neces- 
sary to the tranquillity of Ireland ; and in 1824, 


when he sent his subscription to the " Rent," he 
accompanied it with a letter expressive of his hopes 
and wishes. A resolution that both should be en- 
tered on the minutes was " adopted with a zeal 
and enthusiasm that had never been exceeded in 
that body." In reply to a letter from their secre- 
tary, conveying this intelligence, and expressing 
" the gratification he experienced in being the 
organ of sentiments entirely in unison with his 
own," Mr. Rowan writes : — 

" Leinster-street, 29th November l 1824. 

"Dear Sir, 

" The highly flattering terms in which 
the Catholic Association has unanimously resolved that 
my letter and subscription to the Catholic Rent should be 
entered on the minutes, demand my warmest acknow- 

" This mark of the approbation of so large and respect- 
able a portion of his countrymen to one advanced in the 
vale of years, constitutes a reward for his humble though 
sincere efforts in the cause of civil and religious liberty, 
in which, he must allow, his zeal has sometimes out- 
stripped his prudence. 

" I cannot but believe that the prayers of millions of 
loyal Irish subjects, addressed to a gracious and benevo- 
lent Prince, and an enlightened legislature, to relieve them 
from a state of legalized degradation, will obtain proxi- 
mate, if not immediate success. 

" Yet the words of a patriot, dying for the cause he 
had espoused, are worthy of recollection : 



" ' Stir up such as are faint, 

Confirm those who waver, 

Direct those who are willing 1 , 

And may wisdom and integrity guide the whole.' 

"It only remains for me to express my obligation to 
you for those expressions which your friendship, not my 
merits, have drawn from you in your letter to 
" Your faithful friend, 

" A. H. ROWAN." 
" Nicholas P. 'Gorman, Esq." 

While Mr. Rowan was enjoying the society of 
his friends, and the approbation of the great body 
of his countrymen at home, his name was assailed 
abroad in a style and manner of which he had 
little anticipation. In a debate in the House of 
Commons on the Catholic Association, Feb. 14th, 
1825, the proceedings of that body were censured 
with harsh and immoderate severity. Mr. Dawson, 
not contented with general observations condemna- 
tory of their object, thought proper to illustrate 
his argument by speaking of their conduct to indi- 
viduals : — 

" To say that the object of the Catholic Association 
was the redress of grievances, real or supposed, was 
wholly untrue ; its object, as was evident from the con- 
duct of its members, was to scatter calumnies, to weaken 
the confidence of the people in the laws, and to prepare 
their minds for the measures which were in contempla- 
tion. It was not only from the speeches of the orators, 



but from the proceedings of the society, that this conclu- 
sion was to be drawn. Upon a recent occasion, a Mr. 
Devereux and a Mr. Hamilton Rowan had been admitted 
members of the Association, when the name of the latter 
was received with thunders of applause. Mr. Hamilton 
Rowan, it would be remembered, was one of the body 
called United Irishmen. He had been implicated in 
seditious practices in the year 1793, for which he was 
imprisoned. Previous to his trial he contrived to escape, 
and remained for many years in exile. He was attainted 
of high treason, but being afterwards, by the lenity of the 
government, allowed to return to Ireland, the best return 
he could make for the mercy which had been shown him 
was by enlisting himself as a member of an association 
quite as dangerous as that of his own United Irishmen. 
The name of this convicted traitor was received with 
thunders of applause — and why ? In order that this re- 
collection of the disastrous period with which that name 
was connected might be revived in the minds of the de- 
luded peasantry, and help the designs of this abominable 

In a subsequent debate, (February 18th) Mr. 
(now Sir Robert) Peel followed the same line of 
argument as Mr. Dawson, and censured the Ca- 
tholic Association for an act of great indiscre- 
tion in passing a vote of thanks to Archibald 
Hamilton Rowan — " an act which," he affirmed, 
" was sufficient to excite suspicion and alarm. 
The Catholic Association expressed their admira- 
tion of the honest and patriotic efforts of that 
gentleman ; they designated him as a man who 
had devoted his life to the service of his country, 


and who now received his sweetest reward in 
the approbation of his countrymen. He did not 
deny that Mr. Rowan performed the relative duties 
of father and landlord, all the offices of private 
life, but he was addressed as a public man." The 
honourable member then referred to the report of 
the Secret Committee of the Irish parliament in 
1794, quoted part of the celebrated address, " Ci- 
tizen soldiers to arms," and entered into a minute 
statement of the trial and pardon of Rowan, whom, 
in the warmth of debate, he designated as an " at- 
tainted traitor/' This expression appeared to some 
members harsh and unwarranted. The indigna- 
tion of Mr. C. Hely Hutchinson and of Mr. (now 
Lord) Brougham was roused, and prompted each 
of them to expatiate on the character of Rowan in 
strains of fervid and eloquent panegyric : — 

" Mr. C. Hutchinson said he had more than once 
lamented and opposed the practice of introducing the 
names of individuals who were not here, and had not the 
means of defending themselves. The right honourable 
gentleman who had just sat down had carried this prac- 
tice to a most unjustifiable length. He had mentioned 
the name of Hamilton Rowan. He (Mr. Hutchinson) 
was in Dublin when that gentleman fled the country, and 
no man ever left Ireland more respected and more re- 
gretted. Ireland had not now a man more universally 
respected for the integrity of his public principles and the 
virtues of his private life. He (Mr. H.) had not the 
honour of his acquaintance, but he well knew the correct- 
ness of what he now stated. The association was per- 



fectly justified in using words respecting him which ex- 
pressed only what is and was the feeling of the popula- 
tion of Ireland. It was impossible that he (Mr. H.) 
who knew the country eould answer the statements of 
the right hon. gentleman without pain and difficulty ; but 
he would boldly declare what he thought. He would tell 
the right honourable gentleman that the most enlightened 
and best men in Ireland, in 1793, had been among the 
United Irishmen, with the most constitutional views. 
The cause in which they were engaged was to benefit 
their country, and to produce that state of things which 
the colleagues of the right honourable gentleman pro- 
fessed themselves most anxious to establish. Never were 
men engaged in a more righteous undertaking. Had 
they been successful, they had prevented the rebellion of 
1798. Sydney, Hampden, Russell, the greatest names, 
the most hallowed patriots in English history, would now 
have been stigmatized as traitors, had not the cause of 
liberty, for which we all are thankful, flourished here, and 
if that despotism had triumphed in England which had 
been continued in Ireland up to this hour. Had these 
men succeeded in Ireland in 1793, they would have been 
regarded as benefactors of that country, and they were 
even now receiving approbation ; for the system pursued 
by the right honourable gentleman and his colleagues 
was that which they then wished to enforce." 

Mr. Hutchinson was followed in a similar strain 
by Mr. Brougham : — 

" The charge against the Catholic Association was 
this, that they spoke of Mr. Hamilton Rowan as a man 
entitled to the respect and love of his country ; and yet, 




said the right honourable gentleman, Mr. Hamilton 
Rowan was not more nor less than a convicted traitor. 
[Mr. Secretary Peel — attainted.] Well — an attainted 
traitor. The charge then against the Catholic Associa- 
tion was, that they spoke with respect of an attainted 
traitor. The Catholics state, that he is a man of the 
highest respectability. There was not a man more dearly 
beloved in Ireland. If to hold Mr. Rowan as an object 
of respect and affection be a crime, they were all guilty. 
This was not mis-statement, this was not exaggeration ; 
they themselves join in the description, and admit it to 
be a fact. Of the two charges brought against the Asso- 
ciation this was the gravest. And he was instructed to 
assert, that it would be proved by witnesses at the bar of 
that house, that there was not in this country a man to 
whom all were more zealously attached, more respected, 
and more beloved, than Mr. Rowan. (A member ex- 
claimed ' No, no !') Mr. Brougham, in continuation, 
looked for the member who said ' No.' He was grateful 
to him and required his vote that night. He joined 
issue with his ' No,' and answered ' Aye,' and would 
prove his assertion by witnesses. He would go further. 
He would ask, who taught the Association ; who still 
teach them to love and respect Mr. Rowan at they do ? 
It was his Majesty's government ; it was each succeed- 
ing Lord Lieutenant, who held different sentiments and 
opinions upon the affairs of Ireland. This much-loved 
individual was a gentleman of large and princely fortune, 
respected by all around him, endeared to his friends by 
all the ties of domestic life, attached to his country by a 
spirit of the most ardent and irrepressible patriotism. 
He was one of those men who, in the agitated times of 
1793, 1797, and 1798, when the wisest were often mis- 


led, and when the honestest, from the very excess of pa- 
triotic feeling, were roused to phrenzy by the injuries 
which they conceived their country was enduring, under- 
went every species of vituperation, and in that wretched 
period were swept away in one general act of attainder, 
although many of them could never have been brought 
to trial with any hope of conviction. "Fuerint cupidi : " 
for the character is applicable not only to Mr. Hamilton 
Rowan, but to the Fitzgeralds and others, who went too 
far in the times of which I have been speaking ; and God 
forbid that I should deny that they went too far, although 
God also forbid that I should charge them with crimes 
of which they were guiltless; — 'Fuerint cupidi, fuerint 
irati, fuerint pertinaces, sceleris vero crimine, fur oris, 
parricidii, lie eat. Cn. Pompeio mortuo, liceat, multis 
aliis car ere.' Such, Sir, are not my sentiments alone 
with respect to many of those unfortunate individuals. 
Pardoned by his prince, Mr. Hamilton Rowan returned 
to the bosom of his family. Again he became the dis- 
penser of blessings to his attached tenants ; again he 
drew around him all the tender and endearing connec- 
tions of life ; he exercised all the functions of a country 
gentleman ; he attended all the charitable meetings 
which are so frequent in Ireland. By the manner in 
which he expended his liberal income, and by the whole 
tenor of his conduct, he became the darling of his neigh- 
bourhood. Nay more, he attends the courts of the re- 
presentatives of his Sovereign, and is received with favour, 
with kindness, with courtesy by one Viceroy after ano- 
ther — not only by Lord Wellesley, but by Lord Whit- 
worth. And this, Sir, is the man whom the Catholic 
Association are to be attacked, vituperated, and denounced, 
unheard and without the means of defence, for declaring 



to be entitled to, and to be enjoying, the respect and af- 
fection of his countrymen ! Sir, I declare, that if I could 
not repel that charge against the Catholic Association, if 
I could not convince the house, from that unexpected 
quarter, if I could not commend the chalice to the right 
honourable gentleman's own lips, which he had prepared 
for his opponent, if I could not elicit new arguments from 
his assertion on this part of the subject, to show the ne- 
cessity for inquiry, to prove the incalculable dangers 
which we are incurring in this course of hasty legislation, 
I would at once abandon the cause." 

Mr. Brougham, in the fervour of his eloquence, 
spoke of Rowan as performing the duties of a ma- 
gistrate and " holding the commission of the peace 
under the superintendance and protection of Lord 
Manners, the pink of loyalty ! the idol of the 
orangemen's adoration — acting under the concur- 
rence of their late tutelar saint, Mr. Saurin." Mr. 
Peel having ascertained, by application to the 
Hanaper Office, that no such person as A. H. 
Rowan had been admitted to the commission of 
the peace for the last twenty years, in a subsequent 
debate stated this fact as a triumphant confutation 
of the ignorance with which he had been charged 
of Mr. Rowan's situation in Ireland,* and concluded 

* Though Mr. Rowan sat upon grand juries, he was not ad- 
mitted to the magistracy. That honour, it is presumed, was not 
solicited, and the government did not offer it ; not from want of 
confidence in his loyalty, but to avoid giving an occasion to the 
clamours of the superlatively good and true, who can neither 
forget nor forgive. 



his speech by appealing " not only to the house, 
but to the honourable and learned gentleman 
(Mr. Brougham) himself, whether he had not, by 
this simple statement, dashed from his hand 
the poisoned chalice intended for him f Mr. 
Brougham rose in reply, and commenced by com- 
paring the calm, the subdued tone, the candid and 
plausible manner of the right honourable gentle- 
man's speech of to-night with that of the former 
night ; so different, that he must declare he had 
never witnessed a more marvellous contrast. 

" Would he (for that was the meaning of the right 
honourable gentleman's former appeal) — would lie (Mr. 
Brougham) defend this Catholic Association, of which 
he professed himself to be the advocate and the champion, 
when on the very day of their declaration to the Roman 
Catholic population of Ireland, they issued an address 
expressive of their love and veneration for an attainted 
traitor? (Loud and continued cheering.) 'Attainted 
traitor !' Those were the words that were employed. 
He appealed to the impartial, the calm-judging men of 
that house, who mingled neither with one side nor the 
other, whether such were not the right honourable gen- 
tleman's words ; the words uttered by him in the face of 
the country, without respect to the feelings of the indivi- 
dual, of his country, or his son ? But he (Mr. B.) ap- 
pealed to the better feelings of the house, to the country, 
to the memory of the right honourable gentleman after 
one week's recollection of what he had said ; he appealed 
to the right honourable gentleman, as placing himself in 
the situation of one of those gallant officers whose distin- 




guished bravery adorned a service, of which to be even 
amongst its lowest members was, in itself, a very high 
honour — he meant no other than Captain Hamilton — 
whether to hear it publicly, not privately, but in the face 
of parliament and the country, represented that his own 
father was an attainted traitor, was just or proper ? As 
to himself, he would repeat his opinion of Mr. Rowan, 
from which he did not shrink. He would repeat his de- 
fence of the Catholic Association. He would not enter 
into the details of this gentleman's case, with which he 
was not much acquainted. The charge of the right hon. 
gentleman was, that Mr. Jackson and another individual 
were tried, and Mr. Rowan was said to be implicated. 
But it seems he was tried for another offence, namely, 
the publication of a seditious libel. They were trouble- 
some times when these occurrences took place, and the 
best and wisest of the children of Ireland were liable to 
the same fate ; and the charge against the Association 
upon this head is, that they respect an individual thus 
convicted. This, it appears, is not the last act of their 
imprudence ; their folly does not stop here ; it may be 
well said they are incorrigible, for after an interval of 
thirty years, and not grown wiser by experieuce, they en- 
trust their petition to the hands of an honourable baronet, 
who is also convicted of a libel in peaceable times, before 
a just judge. This honourable baronet is also imprisoned 
and undergoes the sentence of the law, not far from the 
banks of that very river that washes these walls. He 
would not hesitate to say, that as an Irishman, a lover of 
his country, and a patriot, he would put his hand to the 
paper published by Mr. Rowan. It called upon the 
people to arm, but at the same time to maintain the 
public peace. It was published at a period when all was 


at stake from abroad, and much was at stake from within. 
It was published at a period when Ireland was erecting 
statues to the illustrious Grattan, when the volunteers 
were proclaimed the saviours of the country. It was at 
this period Mr. Rowan called upon the people to arm, for 
the country was proclaimed by the government to be in 
danger ; and if he called upon them not to stop here, but 
to go further, and when they had beaten back the enemy, 
to procure civil liberty, he would be only doing what the 
parliament allowed the volunteers to do. If these men 
had not armed in 1782, Ireland would have been enslaved 
and degraded. She would be an unworthy part of the 
empire, or, perhaps, after a civil war, she would be sepa- 
rated entirely. In those troublous times all the Irish 
patriots were subject to the same hazard ; even that 
person whose name was never mentioned at the opposite 
side of the house without feelings of reverence and affec- 
tion, Mr. Grattan, was not safe. The privy council had 
repeated sittings concerning him, and it was his departure 
alone from the country saved him from trouble. He left 
Dublin upon the first burst of that rage which filled the 
land with desolation. As to the comments made by the 
right honourable gentleman upon the conduct of Mr. 
Rowan upon receiving his pardon, they amounted to no- 
thing ; they merely referred to his grateful effusions upon 
that event. But, good God ! are we to be told that a 
man receiving a free pardon, treated by his Sovereign as 
Mr. Rowan was, is to be branded as an attainted traitor, 
when a sarcasm is to be pointed, when a period is to be 
rounded, or a cheer excited in that house ? It was said 
he was received in private life. He undoubtedly was, for 
there was no act to render him infamous ; but he was also 
received in public, at the levees at the Castle. As to the 
t 2 



circumstance of his not being in the commission, he (Mr 
B.) had only the same opportunity of knowing such 
matters as others had ; but whether Mr. Hamilton Rowan 
were a magistrate or not, I consider my defence to be 
impregnable. The King himself restored Mr. Rowan to 
a free pardon ;* Mr. Rowan was restored to all the pri- 
vileges of a free subject ; Mr. Rowan was summoned and 
sat upon grand juries ; and I ask, is that no function P 
Felonies, misdemeanors, cases even of high treason came 
before him ; he sat, and heard, and determined in all 
these cases. Is not that, I ask, enough ? He is received 
at the King's levees by the representative of the Sove- 
reign ; is that, I ask, nothing ? He was received by one 
Lord Lieutenant after another ; and the letter of his 
Grace the Duke of Bedford said nothing of an ' attainted 
traitor,' although the honourable gentlemen at the other 
side, who so called Mr. Rowan, set themselves up the 
exclusive defenders of the King, the altar, and the consti- 
tution. It has been my practice and my habit to believe 
that the Duke of Bedford had, and has as good a right to be 
looked upon as a loyal subject ; as holding as deep a stake 
in the peace and tranquillity of the country ; as offering in 
his conduct, talent, and property, as good a test of loyalty 
as any honourable gentleman in this house. Then let 

* Sir Jonah Barrington, in his " Personal Sketches," vol. ii. 
p. 1 20, speaking of Mr. Rowan, says, " The government found 
that his contrition was sincere ; he eventually received his Ma- 
jesty's free pardon ; and I have since seen him and his family at 
the Castle drawing-rooms in dresses singularly splendid, where 
they were well received by the Viceroy, and by many of the nobi- 
lity and gentry ; and people should consider that his Majesty's 
free pardon for political offences is always meant to ivipe away 
every injurious feeling from his subjects' recollection." 



the house hear what was the observation of the Duke of 
Bedford. • The first act of the administration was to 
offer a pardon to Mr. Hamilton Rowan, for no man better 
deserved it ; and no act could be more satisfactory, be- 
cause a more honourable, a more respectable, nor a more 
liberal man, existed not in Ireland.' Well, then, for re- 
peating this, the Catholic Association was blamed and 
branded. But I ask who has a right to complain of this ? 
who has a right to fling in the teeth of Mr. Rowan that 
he was, or is, an ' attainted traitor,' when he was received 
by several representatives of his Sovereign, and when his 
Sovereign so smiled upon him ? The Sovereign of these 
realms so treated Mr. Rowan, and what more did the 
Catholic Association ? I repeat and re-assert all I have 
said as to Mr. Rowan ; and I envy not the feelings of 
those, who, in despite of their Sovereign's pleasure, huma- 
nity, and good feeling, can wantonly and unnecessarily, 
not privately, but in their places in parliament, brand that 
honourable, honest, though unfortunate gentleman, with 
the name of e attainted traitor ;' and I still less envy the 
judgment of those who deem the Catholic Association 
culpable, because they hailed and treated Mr. Rowan as 
the King's representatives had set them the example so 
to do." 



Rowan determines to ask an explanation from Mr. Dawson — 
proceeds to London — the affair amicably terminated by the 
instrumentality of Lord Hotham — Captain Hamilton dissuaded 
by his Admiral from challenging Mr. Peel — Letter from Lord 
Cloncurry — George Ensor, Esq. — Captain George Bryan's 
apology for past injurious reflections — American correspon- 
dence — Letters of William Poole, of Messrs. Robinson and 
Lea — Rowan cheered at a public meeting — his consistency — 
Extract from the Northern Whig — Justification of Samuel 
Neilson — Correspondence with Thomas Moore, Esq, 

Mr. Rowan had now readied the mature age of 
seventy-four, and it might naturally be supposed 
that he would be in a great measure indifferent as 
to passing events, and more occupied with medita- 
tions on time and eternity than on the transactions 
of the House of Commons. But though his spirit 
slumbered under the weight of years, it had not 
died ; " still in their ashes lived his wonted fires 
the lion had grown old, but not so sick as to be 
kicked with impunity. He thought his name had 
been unnecessarily introduced, and wantonly han- 
dled in parliament, and coupled with epithets 
which even the freedom of debate should not tole- 
rate, especially as he was not present to speak in 
his own justification. It is true he had been ably 
defended by the eloquence of Messrs. Hutchinson 
and Brougham ; but he thought he should be his 


own defender. Though he had been prosecuted for 
a libel, he had never been tried for treason ; and 
having received the royal pardon for the offence 
of which he was suspected but not convicted, he 
deemed it neither generous nor just to brand his 
name with a criminal stigma. He therefore de- 
termined to act on the principles of that code of 
honour to which he had been attached from his 
youth ; and as Mr. Dawson had been the first to 
use the offensive epithets, to demand of him an ex- 
planation or apology. 

While he was preparing for his journey to 
London, General Sir George Cockburne, whose 
daughter was married to Captain Hamilton, offered 
to accompany him. This offer Mr. Rowan de- 
clined, as he wished to go alone. Sir George ob- 
served that he might find some difficulty in Lon- 
don to find a second, and asked, " In that case, 
what will you do f 1 He hesitated a little, and 
then in his somewhat passionate manner replied, 
" Then I will challenge him myself, and take out 
Daly as my second ; he will see fair play." Daly 
was his groom and personal attendant . But Rowan 
was not without friends in London. 

On his arrival in the metropolis he wrote to Mr. 
Dawson in terms of more strength than suavity, 
and thus for a time precluded such an amicable ex- 
explanation as Mr. Dawson's subsequent conduct 

justifies the belief that he would instantlv have given. 
* « — 

Mr. Dawson's friend, Lord Hotham, whom Rowan 
describes as "a polite young man in the Guards, 



cool, clear, and temperate, who acted in a most 
gentlemanlike manner," informed Mr. Rowan both 
by writing and conversation, that before he could 
expect any explanation from Mr. Dawson, his 
own offensive letter should be withdrawn. Rowan 
being as far from wishing to give as to receive 
offence, acceded to the justice of this observation, 
and addressed the following note to his Lordship : 

" My Lord, 

" After thanking your Lordship for 
your clear and temperate comment on my appeal to Mr. 
Dawson, and after apologising for any warmth of expres- 
sions on my part in our conversation of this morning ; 
I have, as you desired, read your letter to a friend, whose 
opinion, in concurrence with your Lordship's, has con- 
vinced me that " an appeal for explanation should be 
perfectly free from all language in any degree offen- 
sive to the party to whom that appeal is made ,-" and 
I regret that mine was in any respect otherwise. Under 
this impression, I have no hesitation in withdrawing my 
letter of the 23d of May, containing the offensive pas- 
sages noticed by you. As I am now persuaded that 
those passages were the only impediment to my receiving- 
such an explanation as it was the object of that letter to 
request, I trust Mr. Dawson will be prompt to relieve 
me from the impressions under the influence of which I 
have been led to address him. 

" I have the honour to be, &c. 

« A. H. ROWAN." 

This was succeeded by the following note from 
Mr. Dawson : — 



" 16, Upper Grosvenor-street, June 30th, 1625. 

* Sir, 

" The letter which you have addressed to 
Lord Hotharn, bearing date the 26th June, enables me 
to assure you, that in introducing your name into the de- 
bate in the House of Commons, I was influenced solely 
by considerations of public duty, and that nothing was 
farther from my wish than intentionally to wound your 
feelings or to offer you any premeditated insult." 
" I have the honour to be, &c. 

<• G. R. DAWSON. 

" A. H. Rowan, Esq." 

Thus terminated M a disagreeable affair." as 
Rowan justly termed it, M forced upon him by the 
manners of the world." There was some danger, 
however, that it might occasion another affair still 
more serious and disagreeable. An account of the 
whole transaction soon found its way to the Medi- 
terranean, where Captain Hamilton commanded 
the Cambrian frigate. When he read the debate, 
" his blood boiled within him, 11 as he told a, near 
friend, and he resolved to procure leave of absence, 
or to sive up his commission, to return to England 
and call out Mr. Peel. The Admiral in command, 
who was a sincere and affectionate friend, remon- 
strated strongly against such a proceeding, con- 
tending that as his father was satisfied with Mr. 
Dawson's explanation, the business ought not to be 
pursued any farther. Captain Hamilton yielded ; 
but he could not be reconciled to himself till he 
x 3 



wrote a strong, though polite letter, to Mr. Peel, 
expressing his indignant sense of the wrong. He 
said that he did not mean to approve of his father's 
attendance on political meetings ; but that his 
offences, whatever they were, having received the 
King's pardon, were no fitting theme for parlia- 
mentary animadversion ; that their stain had been 
blotted out by the blood of his children, shed in 
their country's service : one had died of sickness 
and hardships ; another fell in action on the coast 
of Spain ; he had himself been severely wounded. 
He concluded by saying that he indulged a belief 
that if these circumstances had been taken into 
consideration, he and his family would have been 
spared the pain of an attack so unprovoked and so 

Whether this letter was sent does not appear. 
Had Mr. Peel received it, it cannot be questioned 
that he would have given an explanation similar 
to that of Mr. Dawson, and disowned all intention 
to wound the feelings either of Mr. Rowan or any 
of his family. 

When the attack was first made in the House of 
Commons, many of Rowan's friends participated 
in his indignation, and hastened to mitigate the 
intensity of his feelings by their sympathy, and 
by their approval of his past conduct. Of these, 
Ireland's most patriotic nobleman, Lord Cloncurry, 
was the first. Having occasion to send, through 
Mr. Rowan's hands, a donation to a charitable in- 
stitution, he writes : — 



w My dear Rowan, 

" I take the liberty to send by 
you my contribution to Strand-street charity ; and I profit 
by the opportunity, to say how perfectly I respect and 
admire you, and more particularly that part of your life 
which has provoked the everlasting malice of the enemies 
of your country and of humanity. May you long live 
the ornament of both, and the cherished friend of all 
good men. 

" With respect and affection, yours most truly, 


" 26th February, 1825." 

On the same occasion lie also received a friendly 
and cheering letter from George Elisor, Esq. the 
learned author of the " Independent Man'' and va- 
rious other works chiefly of a political character.* 
But few circumstances could be more gratifying 
than the apology which it drew from Captain 
George Bryan, for some unjust reflections which 
lie had made on Mr. Rowan at a period long ante- 
cedent. That gentleman, in speaking to a resolu- 
tion at the Catholic Association, concluded his ad- 
dress by saying : — 

" 1 There was a topic upon which an aspiring legislator 
was lately said to have indulged with almost unprece- 
dented and unfeeling, because unnecessary, asperitv ; it 
was a subject in which his (Captain Bryan's) feelings 

* Mr. Ensor says, " I find your motto is the same as mine, 
for qualis ab incepto is precisely semper idem." 



were so acutely interested, that he lamented his inability to 
give expression to the emotions which agitated his heart. 
About twenty-two years since, when he (Captain B.) 
came from England, he was imperfectly acquainted with 
the political history of Irish affairs, and still less with the 
history and causes of the calamitous events of the year 
Ninety -eight ; and as he had, in consequence of that 
ignorance, spoken disrespectfully at that time of his re- 
turn of Mr. H. Rowan, he thought he could make no 
more adequate reparation for the injustice, than by ac- 
knowledging before so respectable an assemblage of his 
countrymen the error he had then unhappily fallen into, 
and expressing his sincere sorrow for having committed 
it, and the sincere pleasure it afforded him to have so 
favourable an opportunity of asking the venerable, and 
worthy, and most respectable gentleman's pardon. It 
was not a characteristic of a great mind like that of Mr. 
H. Rowan's to partake of an unforgiving disposition, such 
as appeared to influence some of his Majesty's ministers. 
He therefore hoped the present apology would be con- 
sidered an atonement for the error and injustice he had 

" This address was followed by three distinct rounds of 
enthusiastic applause. The gallant gentleman, upon the 
present as well as at the last meeting, when Mr. Rowan's 
name was mentioned, was very sensibly affected." 

Though all of Mr. Rowan's friends must have 
condemned the assault made upon his name in the 
British senate, all did not approve of the mode in 
which he showed his resentment. His venerable 
American correspondent, William Poole, in con- 
sistency with the principles of that excellent reli- 


gious denomination to which he belonged, con- 
demned an appeal to arms ; and in a letter, dated 
Brandy wine, l'2th month 27th, 1825, after acknow- 
ledging the receipt of some lithographic sketches 
and some papers, sent him by Mr. Kowan, con- 
tinues : — 

" The one relating to thy ( foolish shall I call it ? ) excur- 
sion to England is not sent me, as my friends think that I 
had better not see it. However, I have heard enough of 
it, to be surprised that at thy age thou should surfer any 
thing to put at risk thy own peace and the peace of thy 
fainily. But I cannot enter into thy feelings or views, 
perhaps, nor the warmth of the Irish character." Sub- 
sequently he says, " I rejoice that rny friend has escaped 
that distress which might have followed to himself and 
family from victory or defeat. To old men, such as we 
are, it appeal's to me to be of much more importance to 
preserve the quietude and innocence of our minds, than 
to take a very deep interest of any kind in the affairs 
of a world horn which we are soon to pass away." 

Between Mr. Rowan and his American friends 
there always subsisted a mutually fond recollection, 
which they cherished and kept alive by a frequent 
interchange of letters, and of such presents as each 
deemed most curious or most acceptable to the other. 
This intercourse was greatly facilitated by the 
American Captain Hamilton, who commanded a 
vessel long in constant employ between the Old 
and the New World, and who availed himself of 
every opportunity to evince his respect and esteem 



for both parties. When Rowan had his portrait 
lithographed, with some pages of his memoirs, he 
sent copies of them, accompanied with his bust in 
plaster of Paris, to several of his transatlantic 
friends. Of these none stood higher in his estima- 
tion than Poole, from whose correspondence a few 
more extracts may prove not unacceptable to the 

Having received a small portion of the " auto- 
biography," he expresses a wish to have the whole, 
that he 

" May deposit it with his books, to preserve," says he, 
" the memory of a friend, whose humanity to me at a 
time that f tried men's souls,' * I shall always keep in re- 
membrance ; and I wish my children to become familiar 
with the life of a man whose bust stands in a conspicuous 
part of my house, and is often a cause for making in- 
quiries concerning the original. 

" Within a few days, the daughter of thy old friend, 
John Dickinson, called to see me, in part with a view to 
examine the bust thou sent, with some of thy letters, and 
the ' memorials' I had from thee. She recognised in the 
bust the features that were strongly impressed upon her 
memory from the day that thou parted with her father's 
family. She shed tears plentifully, and said she was 
much pleased to see the articles thou sent, and particu- 
larly the commencement of the memorial addressed to 

* " Mr. Poole had the yellow fever in 1798, and his family- 
being afraid to remain in the house with him, Mr. Rowan slept 
in it and attended him until he recovered." 



thy daughter, and which several of thy friends in this 
land have so long hoped to see completed. In this case," 
he adds, " I would suggest that each copy shall contain 
a portrait of thyself from thy lithographic press ; of thy- 
self, as thou wert during thy residence here, as that is the 
face that will be recognised. Age, thou art sensible, has 
made a great difference in thy features since thou wast 
here and stood by my bed-side, a fine-looking man as 
was to be seen in a thousand, a helping angel in time of 
extremity. How age has warped thy features with his 
rugged hand !" 

" 9th month, 1826. Thou wilt have seen the various 
accounts of the decease of John Adams and Thomas 
Jefferson, our late Presidents. Their deaths, so near to 
each other as to time, though separated by 500 miles, 
and on the day of the national j ubilee, is in this country 
looked upon as rather an extraordinary circumstance. 
They died full of years, and full of honours, and with the 
love of their fellow-citizens." 

" Brandy urine, 3rd month 2\st, 1827. I occasionally 
see the name of thy son in the accounts from the Medi- 
terranean ; and it is a pleasure to know the son of my 
old and kind friend engaged in such acts of humanity as 
first taught me to respect and love his father. 

" In this country there seems no indication of material 
sudden change. Some squabbles of a political nature 
exist among office-hunters ; but we have learned to dis- 
regard them* as well as the effects of cowardly passion 
and pride among members of Congress, who, if they 
shoot one another, the world will suffer no loss, per- 
haps be a gainer. It seems to me that the Gothic 
mode of administering justice is falling into contempt, 
and in another age may be wholly abandoned, with 



the barbarisms of the age of knight-errantry and in- 

Poole animadverts on Lord Byron with some 
warmth, condemning some of his principles, while 
he admires his talents : — 

" It is only in true, vital, unadulterated Christianity, 
which is a gift from God, that real good exists ; and he 
who will inflict a wound upon this, is a real enemy to 
mankind, let his profession be what it may. On the 
other hand, all are not friends to the realities of this re- 
ligion who make the highest professions, or pretend to 
serve its cause most effectually. Nor are they wholly 
excluded from its benefits who have not even heard its 
name. Christianity is a religion of the soul in inter- 
course with its Creator. It may be felt in all countries 
and climates, whether there be ministers and temples 
or not." 

Mr. Poole knowing that Rowan, though " no 
naturalist," had a fondness for natural history, 
drives him occasional accounts of American dis- 
coveries, accompanied with specimens of such ob- 
jects as he thought interesting. Of these was a 
box made of " hirer s-eye maple, so called from the 
small spots with which it is irregularly clouded. 
The history of these spots is curious. The sugar- 
maple is the tree from which this wood is taken. 
It produces a saccharine sap, well known to the 
birds of this country, which pick through the bark 
into the wood to obtain it. By the next season 



the hole thus made is filled with new wood, and 
is covered with new bark ; the birds then pick in 
another place, and hence the irregularity of the 

Again he gives an account of certain organic re- 
mains, of enormous size, found in the neighbour- 
hood of New Orleans, and various other geological 
phenomena — " subjects," he says, " more worthy 
the attention of men of science and leisure, than 
the petty squabbles of the i?is and outs." But on 
nothing does he expatiate with more patriotic 
delight, than on the statistics of his country — 
her growing prosperity, her foreign relations, her 
spreading commerce, her rapidly increasing popu- 
lation, her new accession of territory, her improv- 
ing agriculture, her roads, canals, and railways, her 
arts and her sciences. He speaks of such national 
blessings as purchaseable " only by a long period 
of suffering ; as it is in this way only that indivi- 
duals and nations become wise. We, as a nation, 
have passed through this ordeal, gently adminis- 
tered ; but we are providing another cause for suf- 
fering, in our slave population." He could not 
avoid seeing, and lamenting, that there is a 
" damning spot" on the fair fame of his country, 

* With other presents from America Mr. Rowan received a 
stick which grew over the tomb of Washington. His corres- 
pondent, Joseph Cloud, jun. justly observes, " There must be 
some interest attached even to a stick or twig cut from a tree 
that shades the grave of so great a patriot and so good a mam" 



a cancer that may gnaw into the vitals of her con- 
stitution, and lay prostrate the glory in which she 
exults. " Yet," says he, " there are so many en- 
lightened, humane, and zealous minds interested 
in the slave question, that a rational hope may be 
indulged, that in another period of ten years the 
country may be relieved from this disgraceful 
affliction." In this hope he was too sanguine ; but 
let not the friends of humanity despair. There is 
a redeeming spirit in America, a spirit of wisdom 
and of truth, which lives, and breathes, and burns 
with a bright and invigorating flame in the writ- 
ings of Channing, of Ware, and of Dewy, of Gar- 
rison, Weld, Wright, and Gerrit Smith, a spirit 
which, we trust, will one day be successful in ac- 
complishing the great designs of Christianity, in 
giving " deliverance to the captives, and setting at 
liberty those that are bruised !" 

From others of his American friends Mr. Rowan 
continued, year after year, to receive the kindest 
and most affectionate letters, of which two speci- 
mens are here presented to the reader : — 


" Petersburg, Virginia, November 25th, 1825. 

" Dear Rowan, 

l< I avail myself of a few minutes 
allowed by Mr. Blakeny, to recall to your remembrance 
your old friend and guest Robinson. I have had the 
pleasure of hearing of you frequently and more minutely 
than I expected — of your dogs, your rowings, &c. &c. 



By-the-bye, if all I have heard be true, you must have 
improved prodigiously in nautical accomplishments since 
you upset me in the Delaware, and obliged me to stem a 
rapid current, in coat and boots, for upwards of a mile. 
Do you remember the scoundrels who,, when we were 
just making the shore, offered the assistance of their 
batteaux, having fully satisfied themselves, by coolly 
watehmg our exertions for half an hour, that we would 
not drown in the last hundred yards ? Poor Charles ! 
you remember he was shut under the canoe, and I swam 
back, notwithstanding my incumbrance, and turned it 
over to extricate him. I often think with so much 
pleasure of the strange, muddy, amphibious habits of that 
period of our lives, that I would be willing to go over it 
again. If your memory ever glances at those times, you 
certainly have not forgotten me. There can be no doubt 
that, with a little training, I would have been a very ac- 
complished savage. However, since my arrival in Vir- 
ginia, I have sustained the character of a gentleman, a 
scholar, and a physician, as successfully as my best friends 
could wish. I am connected, by marriage, with many of 
the most respectable families in this state. My children 
are growing up rapidly, and promise well. For their ac- 
commodation I have been obliged to turn my attention to 
music, drawing, and other branches of education, of which 
1 had but a mere smattering when I commenced ; yet I 
have contrived to accomplish my pupils higher than is 
usual at this side of the Atlantic. I have suffered severely 
from the climate. My hair is thin, and nearly white ; my 
face sallow and wrinkled ; but there is still some elasticity 
both of body and mind left. I thank God that my affec- 
tions are still unimpaired. I love the friends of my 
youth, and the countrymen of my fathers, as warmly as 



ever. Let me add, with sincerity, that I remember no 
individual for whose happiness I feel a deeper interest 
than yours. 


" P. S. — I am anxious to know from you whether the 
breed of the Irish greyhound still exists. I have made 
numerous applications for some years past, and can gain 
no intelligence. If they are still existent, and you know 
where a pair might be procured, pray inform me ; I hope 
to hunt both wolf and stag before I die. Once more, 
farewell. T. R." 


Philadelphia, October 20th, 1827. 

" Dear Sir, 

" I hope you will not think it imper- 
tinent in one who, though you may have no recollection 
of him, still remembers Hamilton Rowan, his father's 

" Our mutual friend, Captain Hamilton, knowing my 
predilection for conchology, told me he thought a few 
shells from the Brandywine would be very acceptable to 
you, as you still retain a strong attachment to that beau- 
tiful and romantic river, and to the friends who once, 
though long since, enjoyed your society in the cottage 
on its banks, the ruins of which are still visible. 

** With this view I send you a small box of shells ; 
some of them are from the margin of the water within a 
few steps of the ruins, and must be the descendants of 
your old companions. 

" Believing that others might be interesting to you or 
your friends, I have sent you also some specimens from 



other rivers. Those from the Ohio are extremely inte- 
resting and very rare here ; the distance over the moun- 
tains renders it difficult to obtain them, and they aie 
sought after bv all conchologists with avidity. 

" My collection is already very good ; but is still 
without some of your best and rarest Irish shells, which I 
should like to add to it, if perfectly agreeable through you. 

" In your collection of curiosities do you place mine- 
rals I have been collecting for twelve years, and have 
now a very good cabinet. 

" You, no doubt, are well acquainted with the flourish- 
ing state of this country, although young and without 
overgrown fortunes. The collection of curiosities in the 
various branches of natural history progresses with rapid 
strides ; and we have, it is said, in this city alone, about 
one hundred and fifty cabinets of minerals ; and to my 
own knowledge, there are twenty-four scientific and con- 
chological cabinets. Under so free and admirable a go- 
vernment all things flourish. 

" Wishing you, my dear Sir, many hap])}" years, and 
apologising for obtruding on your time, I am with great 
respect and consideration, 

" Your obedient humble servant, 



" September 26th, 1826. 

" I have received and handed over to Jane the beau- 
tiful and healthy red bird, which my daughter Francisca 
has seized upon, and she rules paramoimt at present in 
the family, previous to her surrendering her liberty, in 
the course of next month, to Mr. Fletcher, the son of the 



late judge of that name, a most upright and honourable 
man, and a descendant of Fletcher of Saltoun, of Scottish 
fame. She will, in all the probabilities of life, be enabled, 
though I should go the way of all flesh, to receive and 
thank you for your kindness to her father. My state of 
bodily health is excellent for the 75th year of my age ; 
but a deafness, which is scarcely perceptible when a single 
voice is directed to me, becomes so confused, when two 
or three are talking in the same room, and so mingles 
words together as to become one buzz of voices ; and this 
deprives me of all society with the world, and, of course, 
of those common topics of the current day, which, how- 
ever trivia], give a zest to social intercourse every where, 
but more particularly in this land of frivolity. I was, 
however, attending my daughters, a duty which falls on 
me since my wife's illness, at Sir Capel Molyneux's, last 
night, where hundreds met about midnight, gay and 
laughing, while in the morning, a numerous assemblage 
of unemployed manufacturers, with their wives and in- 
fants, had paraded in silence through the streets, soliciting 
relief, and distributing hand-bills soliciting aid to prevent 
melancholy occurrences, 

" A small paper bag containing, I think, only, pounded 
maize, was in the larger one containing corn, which 
Francisca requires me to get explained. I had a red 
bird formerly, to which I gave rice as his food, treating 
him sometimes with a little hemp-seed ; but this fellow 
refuses rice altogether. 

" Having spoken of Francisca's marriage, may I ask 
is there no bosom heaving for the return of her Johnny ? 
If there is, you will know how to dispose of the Irish 
manufacture which accompanies this, from 
" Your sincere old friend, 

" A. H. ROWAN." 



On Tuesday, January 20, 1829, a great meeting 
of the friends of civil and religious liberty was held 
in the Rotunda of Dublin, attended " by numbers 
of the first rank, wealth, influence, talent, public 
and private worth, and of all sects of Christian- ; 
the Duke of Leinster in the chair." 

Mr. Rowan, consistent to the last, attended this 
meeting ; and a resolution of thanks being moved 
by Mr. Chaloner, to the Protestant gentlemen and 
noblemen who promoted the dinner to Lord Mor- 
peth, Mr. Rowan seconded the resolution in a 
speech, of which the substance was thus noticed in 
the daily papers : — 

" He said, that he remembered, early in life, when the 
people of this country were armed and determined to pre- 
serve themselves against foreign invaders — then he be- 
came one of a body, now called the Old Volunteers. He 
remembered a period when the object was to remove do- 
mestic dissension — then he became a United Irishman ; 
and he now came forward at a period when, if Irishmen 
were really united, they must be free. (Loud cheers.)" 

It is also stated in the same documents, that 

" When the venerable Hamilton Rowan was leaving 
the Rotunda, after the meeting of yesterday, he was 
supported on each side by 'Gorman Malion and Mr. 
Steele ; and in going down Sackville-street, they were 
surrounded by an immense crowd of the people, cheering 
and huzzaing. They got into a hackney coach to escape, 
but the people would not permit it, and the horses were 
taken from the carriage, and they were drawn in triumph 



by the concourse to the house of the venerable patriot in 
Leinster-street, amidst enthusiastic cheering, and shout- 
ing, and huzzaing." 

A reform in parliament had ever been to Mr. 
Rowan a subject of the highest importance, and 
while he lived he did not relax his endeavours to 
promote it. The political sentiments which he had 
entertained in youth he continued to cherish in 
age, and he never hesitated publicly to avow them, 
as the following extract from the columns of the 
Northern Whig will amply testify : — 

" Reform Test. — Archibald Hamilton Rowan. 
In the chequered page of Irish history, there is no name 
to be found, in modern times, more intimately connected 
with every measure for the prosperity, independence, and 
happiness of his country, than that of Archibald Hamilton 
Rowan. Ill the spring time of youth he placed himself 
beside the bravest and the most devoted of Ireland's de- 
fenders ; in the strength of manhood, he sacrificed every 
meaner consideration for her sake ; he ever devoted his 
best energies to her cause ; and now that the winter of 
age has silvered o'er, with gray hairs, his venerable brow, 
he is found still the same ardent, enthusiastic, and de- 
voted Irishman ! His life is a moral, his consistency 
of character an honourable example ; and his name shall 
long be a watch-word among the friends of human liberty. 
The following letter, addressed to the proprietor of this 
paper, breathes a-new the spirit of his early days, and 
proves that he will cease to think of Ireland, and of her 
rights and her wrongs, only when the emblematic plant of 
his beloved country shall spread itself in a green mantle 
over his honoured grave : — 



" Castle of Killyleagh, ]3th October, 1831. 

" My dear Finlay, 

** As I have ever adhered to the 
principle which dictated the original engagement of the 
United Irishmen, I take the liberty of proposing the test 
of that society, with some slight alterations, for the adop- 
» tion of the friends of reform : — 

" ' In the presence of God, I do pledge myself to my 
country, that I will use all my abilities and influence in 
the attainment of an impartial representation of British 
subjects in parliament, under our most gracious monarch 
William the Fourth, in the spirit proposed by his highly 
esteemed and respected ministers, Lord Grey, &e.' 

" Entering my 82d year, and frail in body as in mind, 
such as I am, I am yours sincerely, 

" A. H. ROWAN." 

" F. D. Finlay, Esq." 

It was a noble trait in Mr. Rowan's character 
that he never forgot old friends ; nor did he de- 
cline to come forward in their defence, whenever 
he thought their honour or integrity unjustly im- 
peached. When the Life of Lord Edward Fitz- 
gerald, by Thomas Moore, Esq. made its appear- 
ance, many of the friends of Samuel Neilson, a 
gentleman of Belfast who had taken a very active 
part in the affairs of Ireland, were surprised and 
grieved to find from a passage in that publication, 
in regard to his conduct, that any suspicion could 
be entertained of his fidelity to a cause for which 
he had suffered much, and to which he had always 
been devotedly attached. Among these friends 




was Mr. Bowan, who came forward immediately in 
defence of Neilson's character, and had the follow- 
ing statement printed and put into circulation : — 

" Having had a long and sincere regard for Samuel 
Neilson, and the strongest conviction of his patriotism 
and integrity, I was extremely hurt to find that some un- 
guarded expressions in a late publication concerning the 
death of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, had been tortured by 
his enemies into a declaration that the capture of that 
unfortunate, high-spirited young nobleman was to be 
attributed to information given by him to government. 
I was living at Altona in the year 1802, with my family, 
when the British government released the state prisoners 
there, who had been so long confined at Fort George ; I 
immediately wrote to them, offering them such services 
as I was capable of, in that country. Among the replies 
I received, I find one from Samuel Neilson, which I 
have been advised to ]:>rint with the letters which I re- 
ceived from Dr. Jebb ; and I leave the candid reader to 
judge whether such sentiments as it contains could have 
proceeded from one so tainted. 

" In consequence of a letter from Mr. Moore, inserted 
in the Freeman this week, I sent that gentleman a copy 
of the inclosed letter. But as the remedy he alludes to 
in that paragraph must suffer some delay, and perhaps 
may never meet the eye of the reader of such feuille vo- 
lant e as this, I submit it to the reader entire. 

" Any person doubting the originality of these letters 
may see them by application to 

" A. H. ROWAN." 

54 Dublin, December 9th, 1831." 




" Allona, 12th July, 1802. 

" My dear Sir, 

" I only this moment received your 
very friendly letter of the 9th. As to the American 
mercantile body, I am perfectly aware of them, and have 
long known them well. A dearly beloved friend of mine, 
now no more, used to call them ' the mercantile English 
degenerate,' and your opinion tends much to corroborate 
his. I have been once in my days a merchant myself, 
and I must say that in our own country that description 
of men is not precisely that which I would choose for my 
companions. In the New World, how r ever, I hope to 
find the people as I ever found them at home, honest and 
sincere ; I am not afraid of pushing my way among a 
people who, I may say, have sprung from ourselves. In 
the propagation of truth I know there is nothing but pain 
and trouble, and he who embarks in that cause with any 
other view will, I am confident, find himself mistaken. 
You, I know, are delicately situated ; but the purity of 
your views and the integrity of your heart lead me to 
speak to you with confidence ; at the same time that I 
wish, of all things, to avoid the most remote possibility 
of implicating you. 

" Neither the eight years' hardship I have endured, 
the total destruction of my property, the forlorn state of 
my wife and children, the momentary failure of our 
national exertion, nor the still more distressing usurpation 
in France, has abated my ardour in the cause of my 
country and of general liberty. You and I, my dear 
friend, will pass away, but truth remains. Christ was 
executed upon a cross, but his morality has been gaining 
u 2 



ground these eighteen hundred years, in spite of super- 
stition and priestcraft. 

" As to your friendly offer of books, send me any you 
have to spare (except Jefferson's Notes, which I am 
already in possession of), Reynolds' Trial, Priestley's 
Letters, Cooper's Essays and Trial, Paine's Letters, &c. 
indeed all are new and interesting to me. I lodge at 
Jacob Heuserman's, Little Fisher-street, No. 248, and 
wi]l ever remain your sincere friend, 


" Sloperton Cottage, December 2lst, 1831. 

" My dear Sir, 

" However much I may have felt 
the injustice with which some persons have treated me on 
the subject to which your letter refers, I am far more 
than compensated for it by the honour and pleasure which 
it has been the means of bringing me, in the communica- 
tion I have just received from you, a person, allow me to 
say, whom, as far back almost as I can remember any 
thing, I remember having always looked to with the 
fondest respect. 

" I beg you to accept my best thanks for the letter of 
Neilson which you have sent me ; and any other com- 
munications on the subject of Ireland you may have it in 
your power to favour me with, will be most thankfully 

" Yours, my dear Sir, very truly, 


A copy of the letter inserted in the Freeman, to 
which Mr. Rowan alludes, is here subjoined, and 



the candid reader will admit that it completely 
frees Mr. Moore from the charge of originating a 
groundless suspicion. As a faithful historian he 
felt it his duty to record what he had heard, and 
at the same time to express his conviction that 
the report was without foundation. 


" Sloperton Cottage, November 29th, 1831. 

u Sir, 

" Having just seen the Freeman s Journal 
of the 26th of this month, in which notice is taken of 
a late attack upon me in the Xorthern Whig, on account 
of some passages in my ' Life of Lord Edward Fitz- 
gerald,' relative to Mr. Xeilson, I think it right to trou- 
ble you with a few words on the subject. In the first 
place, I have to thank you for having laid before your 
readers the actual paragraph of my work which has pro- 
voked all their animadversion. Had some of those who 
have taken the trouble to write about that paragraph, 
given themselves also the preliminary trouble of reading 
it, they would have seen that so far from originating any 
suspicion against Xeilson, I but stated what was quite 
true, that such a suspicion existed, and then expressed 
my own opinion that there were no sufficient grounds 
for it. 

" To come, however, to what is, after all, my main 
object, truth, I can only say that if the friends of Mr. 
Xeilson will, instead of thus arraigning me so angrily 
before the public, do me the favour to furnish me, through 
*ome private medium, with such authentic particulars of 
that brave but rash man's life, as may not only account 



for the e incohereneies' of conduct which I have noticed 
in him, but give me the power of tracing his whole active 
career, it shall not be my fault if full justice is not done 
to his memory, both in the Life of Lord Edioard (should 
another edition be called for), and still more fully in that 
part of my History of Ireland in which the momentous 
portion of 1798 will be included. 

" I am, Sir, your obliged servant, 


Mr. Moore may one day have the opportunity 
which he would willingly embrace, of rendering 
t4 full justice*" to the memory of Neilson. The 
Editor has seen a document which removes every 
shade of suspicion from that injured gentleman's 
character, and fixes the brand of treachery to Lord 
Edward where it should light, too indelibly deep 
and strong ever to be effaced. But the time 
has not yet arrived for making such revelations 
of historic truth* The u incohereneies" in Neil- 
son's conduct to which Mr. Moore alludes,, could 
have proceeded only from his extreme anxiety for 
Lord Edward's safety. Unhappily they were 
liable to be mistaken as to their source, and may 
have favoured the cunning iniquity of diverting 
suspicion from the real object, to fix it on one 
who would rather have sacrificed his own life than 
bring that of his friend into jeopardy. 




Rowan's generosity— falsely accused, and vindicated — family af- 
flictions — Mrs. Rowan's illness and death — Rowan sinks under 
the infirmities of age — dies — his funeral eulogy — Summary view 
of his character and pursuits — phrenological developement — 

Mr. Rowan's well-known generosity caused the 
demands upon it to be incessant and insatiable ; 
and when they were not answered according to the 
expectations of the claimant, (a thing that would 
often have been impossible even to the wealth of a 
Croesus,) he was malignantly assailed, as if he had 
been niggardly and ungrateful.* In 1814, the 
Ulster Recorder, a Newry paper, edited by Mr. 
John Lawless, in making some strictures on the 
grand jury of the county of Down, took occasion 
to say sarcastically of Mr. Rowan — " Yet this 
same gentleman thought proper to enrich the funds 
of the Catholic board by a munificent donation of 
£5 ! ! P 1 Mr. Rowan, not willing to be misrepre- 
sented even in trifles, condescended to give a true 
explanation of the matter. In a letter addressed 

* It could be proved, if necessary, from unquestionable docu- 
ments, that Mr. Rowan repeatedly lent large sums of money 
which he could have little, if any, expectation of being ever re- 



to the editor of the Recorder, he writes — u That 
sum, Sir, was subscribed by me as an Irish Pro- 
testant, in consequence of an application from the 
Catholic board to the public, for assistance to de- 
fray the expenses attending the petition of the 
Irish Catholics to parliament for their emancipa- 
tion. As it was not my first, neither shall it be 
my last subscription, if necessary to the attainment 
of that object. But I must add, I never did, nor 
ever will, give one mite to the Catholic or any other 
hoard, for purposes unknown to the community at 

Mr. Rowan's generosity, even to those men who 
were instrumental in effecting his escape to France, 
could not, with justice to his family, and a thousand 
demands besides, be without a limit. He did not 
possess the purse of Fortunatus, which could never 
be exhausted. It appears from a preceding part of 
this memoir, that he felt a deep interest in the 
welfare of his little crew ; that while in France he 
exerted all his influence in their behalf, and suc- 
ceeded in procuring for them a profitable employ- 
ment in Brest. On their return to Ireland, they 
received sums of money repeatedly ; to what 
amount is not divulged ; but it would be incon- 
sistent with the whole of Rowan's character and 
conduct to suppose that it was not considerable.* 

* Edward Clibborn, Esq. has assured the author that he as- 
sisted Rowan, with whom he was intimate, in a search which 



Notwithstanding, it was affirmed by some who 
knew nothing of the matter, but who could not 
forego the pleasure of inventing and propagating 
an evil report, that they had received no requital. 
In a letter from Dublin to Mrs. Rowan at Rath- 
coftey, dated October loth, 1822, Mr. Rowan gives 
a striking instance of such reports, accompanied 
with their refutation. He writes : — 

" Between ten and eleven last night, Captain Fotterell 
called on me. After apologising for the intrusion, lie 
said he had risen from a supper table where it was pro- 
posed to advertise for a subscription for (the family of) 
Murray, who, you might have seen, lost his life the other 
night in assisting some vessel, as captain of the life boat 
at Clontarf. He said that I was spoken of very harshly, 
as having never given him or the sailors who had saved 
me any compensation, and that it was proposed to allude 
strongly to that circumstance in the advertisement. He 
added, that he could not conceive the fact to be so, and 
begged them to desist, for that he would go immediately 
to me, though he did not know me, to inform himself. 
I, of course, told him all I knew of Murray, and, as far 
as I could recollect, enumerated the different sums lie 
had received, and that I had entries in my agent's ac- 
count of sums given to the men. He seemed rejoiced that 
he could contradict the report, and retired. Now, as to 

proved successful, to discover either a daughter or grand- 
daughter of one of his sailors ; and that he not only relieved her 
from a present embarrassment, but put her in the way to earn a 
respectable livelihood. 

u 3 



the subscription, when it is set on foot, I think I shall 
send £5, without any other signature than from a person 
who has been falsely calumniated, or something to that 

The candid reader will feel that Captain Fotterell 
in this case acted with laudable discretion. What 
man of honour or honesty would suffer his neigh- 
bour's good name to be wantonly sacrificed amidst 
the tittle-tattle of a supper table ? 

Mr. Rowan was now far advanced in age, and 
though he felt its infirmities, he enjoyed its com- 
forts. He continued his correspondence with his 
surviving friends abroad, while in the society of 
those at home, in his own family, and in the pur- 
suits of his own active and versatile mind, he found 
as much happiness as generally falls to the lot of 
man. In his latter days, however, it was griev- 
ously interrupted by some of those afflictions from 
which no human condition is exempt. The tie 
which had subsisted between him and his beloved 
wife, for the long space of fifty years, was now to 
be dissevered. Mrs. Rowan's health had for some 
time been precarious, and she saw the approach of 
death with pious resignation. Her parting words 
to her husband, " We shall meet again," were ex- 
pressive of her Christian faith and hope. After a 
protracted illness, she breathed her last in the 70th 
year of her age, on February 26th, 1834. As he 
had never ceased to love and esteem her, he felt 
intensely for her loss ; and as he contemplated her 



lifeless face, he was heard to say in a tone of deep 
emotion — " A noble frame, and a noble mind V* 
Her remains were accompanied to the tomb by a 
group of sorrowing relatives, and an affecting ad- 
dress was delivered on the occasion by the Eev. 
Joseph Hutton, minister of Eustace-street Pres- 
byterian church, Dublin. The following just and 
appropriate character, written by one who for many 
years had been her intimate friend, the Rev. Dr. 
Armstrong, appeared in The Bible Christian for 
April, 1834 :— 

" This excellent lady was a character of no ordinary 
description. Endowed by nature with singular energy of 
mind and firmness of resolution, she blended with these 
qualities the kindest disposition and wannest benevolence. 
These traits were fully manifested in the various trials 
and duties of her long and useful life. As a wife, her 
heroic fortitude, courage, and presence of mind, on a 
memorable occasion in the history of Ireland, have given 
her a conspicuous place among those matrons who, in 
different ages and countries, have been distinguished for 
their noble contempt of personal hazard, and their gene- 
rous self devotion to conjugal duty, in times of difficulty 
and danger. Entrusted for many years with the sole 
cruidance of a numerous familv of sons and daughters, 
her conduct as a parent was truly exemplary. Strict 
without severity, and indulgent without weakness, her 
precepts combined with her example to train them up in 
such high-minded and honourable principles, as might 
not only sustain the character of the race from which they 
sprang, but, what she valued infinitely more, might evince 



the genuineness of their Christian hopes and profession. 
And her maternal cares were not without their reward. 
Few mothers have been more loved arid honoured by a 
grateful progeny. Few have had their decline of life more 
dutifully tended or its pains more assiduously soothed by 
filial tenderness and affection. In friendship she was 
faithful, steady, and sincere ; to the poor and afflicted, 
compassionate, open-handed, and humane. 

" Her religious opinions were grounded on a settled 
conviction that the Scriptures alone are the unerring guide 
to Christian faith and practice. This conviction operat- 
ing on her vigorous understanding, enabled her to over- 
come the prejudices of early education, and to adopt the 
principles of Unitarian Christianity as the true religion of 
the Bible. Her profession of these principles was con- 
sistent, persevering, and uniform, notwithstanding the 
temptations to desert them presented by fashion and 
worldly interest. It was her maxim, that sincerity in re- 
ligion is the foundation of every virtue ; and that he who 
is false to his God is not to be trusted in any social re- 
ation. Towards genuine piety in whatever form it ap- 
peared, she felt and expressed deep veneration and re- 
spect ; but hypocrisy, when detected, was the object of 
her unmitigated dislike. Her candid and unsuspecting 
mind had been sometimes deceived by persons wearing 
the mask of religious zeal ; and if in any thing she were 
severe, it was in the expression of her indignant repre- 
nension of pharisaical cant and sanctimonious ostentation. 
Liberal in her own views, and exercising that mental free- 
dom which the gospel confers on its true votaries, she de- 
sired not to restrict the independence of others. Her 
religion had nothing in it of a controversial, bigoted, ex- 
clusive character. It was practical, benevolent, universal 



— the guide of her life — her support under many trials — 
her comfort on the bed of languishing, and her cheering 
consolation under the prospect of dissolution." 

From the extracts which have been given of 
Mrs. Rowan's correspondence with her husband, 
it will be apparent even to the superficial reader 
that she was a woman of exalted and accomplished 
mind, of high principle, and dignified demeanor ; 
at the same time, most ardent in her affections, a 
fond mother, a doting wife, yet not blind to the 
imperfections of her husband's character ; tender 
and sensitive, yet ready to do and to suffer all that 
a sense of duty could prompt, however repugnant 
to her inclinations. She had courage to contem- 
plate disagreeable objects in their true colours, and 
to give them their appropriate designation. In 
several of her opinions she differed from the friend 
of her heart. Superior to every thing bordering 
on deception or artifice, she scorned to disguise 
her sentiments, though it were to assuage a pre- 
sent suffering, or escape the hazard of a painful 
opposition. But this diversity of sentiment never 
produced any coolness of affection. During her 
husband's tedious exile she kept up an uninter- 
rupted correspondence with him, and took delight 
in unbosoming her thoughts to him as though he 
had been present ; her letters seem dictated by 
Affection in the palace of Truth. Between her 
and Rowan there was not only a constant inter- 
change of letters, but of gifts, which, whether of 



great or little intrinsic value, showed how affec- 
tionately and intensely the love of each was reci- 
procated. On her part, nothing was left undone 
that could in any mode alleviate the pain of ab- 
sence, reconcile her husband to his exile, or cherish 
a reasonable hope of his restoration. She was 
ready, had it been prudent, to cross the Atlantic 
ocean, to brave the perils of a clime uncongenial to 
her habits and constitution, and to share all that 
he had to endure in a land of strangers. This a 
woman of less fortitude would have dared ; but 
she listened to the dictates of a higher monitor 
than even conjugal affection, to conjugal and pa- 
rental duty, and for the ulterior benefit of her 
husband and family sacrificed her present feelings.* 
Her good sense, which Rowan early discovered, 
and which he had the wisdom to appreciate, ob- 
tained its due ascendancy, and her tender admoni- 
tions must have often restrained that precipitancy 
which was his besetting sin, and which betrayed 
him into all his errors. By her discreet manage- 
ment, which in times of distraction and alarm won 
the admiration of her friends, while it extorted the 
praise of enemies, the family affairs were well 
regulated ; her children received the best educa- 

* In one of her letters she writes — " Many misfortunes I have 
borne with a degree of fortitude and patience I did not think 
myself possessed of ; but where an evil can be remedied, I should 
despise myself if that time were spent in weeping that should be 
spent in reflecting how to act." 



tion which Dublin could afford ; her property was 
saved from confiscation and ruin ; and the most 
effectual means were at last adopted of procuring 
her husband's pardon. To few, if to any, might 
the description in the book of " Proverbs" of the 
" virtuous woman whose price is above rubies," be 
more justly or appropriately applied. " Strength 
and honour are her clothing, and she shall rejoice 
in time to come. She openeth her mouth with 
wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness. 
She looketh well to the ways of her household, 
and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children 
arise up and call her blessed ; her husband also, 
and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done 
virtuously, but thou excellest them all." 

This excellent lady had not been long consigned 
to the tomb, when Mr. Rowan was doomed to ex- 
perience another family affliction, in the death of 
Captain Hamilton, as gallant and meritorious an 
officer as ever trod the deck of a British ship of 
war.* He now began rapidly to decline ; the infir- 
mities of age pressed heavily upon him, though alle- 
viated by all that the sympathy of friends, and the 
tender, unwearied attentions of his two daughters, 

* As no manner of justice could be rendered to {he history and 
character of tins distinguished officer in the limits prescribed to 
this publication, it may suffice for the present to refer the reader 
to a brief and comprehensive sketch of his history written im- 
mediately after his death by T. K. Lowry, Esq. inserted in the 
Appendix, and first published in the Northern Whig. 



Miss Eowan and Mrs. Fletcher, could achieve. 
He still continued to find some occupation in his 
laboratory ; but the stamina of life at length gave 
way, and he died on the morning of the 1st of No- 
vember, 1 834, at the age of nearly eight-four years, 
" in charity with all mankind, and wishing Ireland 
and the whole world happiness and free institu- 
tions/ 1 The following account of his funeral ap- 
peared in the Bible Christian for Dec. 1834 : — 

" His mortal remains were accompanied to a vault of 
St. Mary's Church by a numerous and respectable body 
of relations and friends. Among the latter were the two 
pastors of the Presbyterian church of Scran d-street, of 
which he was a member. Prior to the reading of the 
funeral service by the Rev. Dr. Armstrong, the Rev. Dr. 
Drummond addressed the assembly ; and observed, that 
the memory of their deceased friend would be long che- 
rished by many to whom he had been endeared by his 
public virtues, as well as by those to whom he was more 
closely allied by the ties of affinity, and who in him de- 
plored the loss of a relative and parent. * No one,' said 
the speaker, ' who ever enjoyed his society will deny that 
he had a breast animated and warmed by the noblest 
principles of benevolence — a benevolence which, while it 
comprehended in its wide grasp the whole of sentient ex- 
istence, could concentrate its energies, and not lose in 
ideal plans of universal utility the consciousness of what 
it owed to home, to countryman, relative, and friend. A 
liberal hand was the minister of his generous heart. His 
ample fortune he spent on his own estates and among his 
own people, all of whom he rejoiced to see prosperous 
and happy. A kind and indulgent landlord, he was 



always ready to hear and redress their complaints. His 
sympathies, indeed, for all human suffering were easily 
excited, and never without a promptitude to lend relief. 
In this branch of Christian charity, and not in this alone, 
he might have claimed no small distinction. His con- 
duct evinced the superiority of his mind to all the con- 
tracting and freezing influences of sectarian prejudice. 
He felt for the unhappy as men should feel for men, all 
of whom God has made ' of one blood,' and with similar 
susceptibilities of pleasure and pain. To this benevolence 
of disposition, not less than to his liberal education at an 
English University, (Cambridge,) under one of its most 
enlightened members, (Dr. Jebb,) and his familiarity with 
the higher and more polished classes of society, may be 
ascribed that conciliating urbanity and courtesy which 
graced his manners, and which disarmed even those who 
were most opposed to him of half their hostility. This 
courtesy was in him not like the refinement and polish of 
a courtier — a varnish, or a dress assumed for particular 
occasions and for selfish objects — but the honest, hearty 
expression of philanthropic feeling. Of honour his senti- 
ments were lofty and proud — proud in that sense in which 
pride is a virtue, and which holds in scorn whatever is low 
and mean, selfish or disingenuous ; many would regard 
them as chivalrous and romantic. His indignation was 
easily roused by the wrongs of the injured, or the oppres- 
sions of the powerful ; and for himself, though, like all 
truly generous minds, placable and forgiving, he could 
brook no injurious imputation on his courage or his truth. 
Of his patriotic virtues who has not heard ? His love of 
Ireland was ardent and enthusiastic. As it was among 
the first, it remained with the last affections of his heart. 
The same spirit which in his earlier years led him to join 



the illustrious ranks of the Irish volunteers, glowed in his 
bosom till he expired. His patriotism, if in aught it be- 
came faulty, was faulty only by its excess— -faulty by its lofty 
aspirings after impracticable good — a patriotism which, 
(in times long gone past, but of which the events will live 
in the history of our country) led him, with many men of 
the most eminent talents, virtues, and accomplishments 
which Ireland could boast, to form splendid, but, as the 
event alone could demonstrate, visionary projects for 
Ireland's happiness and glory. Then was he lessoned in 
the stern and rigid lore of adversity. Obliged to flee, 
when closely pursued, he escaped by such a series of ro- 
mantic adventures, that it might have been well believed 
that he bore f a channed life,' or was guarded by some in- 
visible tutelary power. Long exiled from his beloved 
home, he lost for a time whatever constituted the chief 
happiness of his existence, the society of those united to 
him by the tenderest of domestic relations, his wife, his 
children. But he never lost his magnanimity, his patriot- 
ism, his courage, or his honor. He was ever the same ; 
and amidst deprivations, difficulties, and perils, continued 
to pour forth his prayers for his country's good. At 
length the stern rigour of the law was relaxed. A clement 
legislature restored him to his home, without any com- 
promise of character, without any sacrifice of principle. 
No ! perpetual exile — death — to a mind like his, would 
have been preferable to dishonour. He still preserved 
his consistency, and continued to take a lively interest in 
the promotion of every legitimate project which he thought 
had a tendency to meliorate the condition of his country- 
men. In his support of the great principles of civil and 
religious liberty, he was steady and undeviating during 
the whole course of his long and chequered life. However 



some may have opposed and condemned his political 
opinions, his integrity could never be tarnished, nor the 
purity, honesty, and disinterestedness of his motives called 
in question. 

" As to his religion, it was like that of the denomination 
of Protestant Dissenters of which he was a member, 
sedate, sober, rational — seldom effervescent — never obtru- 
sive — never dogmatical. He followed the great Christian 
rule of doing unto others as we would that they should do 
unto us. He claimed for himself the right of serving 
God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and 
held that all men are justly entitled to the full enjoyment 
of the same right. He tried not to 1 snatch the balance 
and the rod' from the hand of Omnipotence, but left it to 
the great Searcher of hearts to decide on the error or the 
rectitude of human opinions. His religion taught him to 
' do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with his 
God' — that God whom he honoured and adored as the 
Universal Father, Friend and Benefactor. 

" He lived to the age of nearly eighty-four years, and 
though broken down by bodily infirmity, retained full pos- 
session of his mental faculties till the last. Of death he had 
no melancholy anticipation. On the contrary, he welcomed 
its approach, confiding in the tender mercy of God, and 
rejoicing in the prospect of meeting in a happier world 
those beloved friends whose recent loss he deplored. For 
the shafts of death have fallen thick and heavy among 
those who were most dear to his heart. Not a year has 
passed away since he had to lament the premature death 
of a beloved daughter (Mrs. Beresford) in another land. 
But a few months have elapsed since we stood beside the 
coffin of her who had early been the partner of his most 
tender affections — a wife worthy of such a husband— =a 



matron richly adorned with the social and domestic virtues, 
and high in the estimation of all who could appreciate 
female dignity and heroism, blended with prudence, ma- 
ternal fondness, and conjugal affection. Short was her 
dwelling in the tomb till she was joined by his son, the 
gallant Captain Hamilton, the honest pride and boast of 
his family ; for he had won merited renown in the service 
of his country, and a braver captain never unfurled the 
* meteor flag of England,' or led her fleets to victory; and 
now the husband and the father is brought to rest by their 
side. May their ashes repose in peace ! May their spirits 
be for ever inseparably united in heaven ! And may we, 
my friends, profiting by our conviction of the uncertain 
and precarious tenure of life, hasten to ' redeem the time,' 
and ' live soberly, righteously, and piously, looking for the 
blessed hope and glorious appearance of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, who gave himself for us that he might redeem us 
from all iniquity, and purify us unto himself a peculiar 
people, zealous of good works.' Then may we contemplate 
death not only without apprehension, but with joy, as the 
commencement of a new and glorious state of felicity. 
The dark brief night of the grave will be succeeded by 
the splendors of a bright and everlasting day. 

1 " "What is death 

But the bright angel of God's providence, 
The herald of salvation, come to plume 
Th' enfranchised spirit ; with ethereal touch 
To rive her prison ; quicken all her powers, 
To wing with pinions fleeter than the wind, 
And elevate to worlds beyond the stars ?" 

Pleasures of Benevolence. 

Mr. Kowan had a tall and commanding person, 
in which agility, strength, and grace were combin- 


ed. His features were expressive, and strongly 
marked. In his younger days lie was univer- 
sally regarded as handsome, and so attractive of 
admiration that the eyes of all were turned upon 
him whenever he came into public ; a circumstance 
which must have greatly tended to foster his love 
of popularity, and stimulate him to the achieve- 
ment of those feats for which he became so distin- 
guished in his younger days. On one occasion he 
appeared in Paris as a Highland chieftain in pro- 
per costume, the very beau ideal of a Celtic hero. 
He was a good marksman, excelled in the sword 
exercise, and could send an arrow from a bow half 
as far a^rain as anv other man in France.* Such 
accomplishments caused him to be respected by the 
men, while his noble Herculean figure and perfect 
politeness made him a favourite with the ladies. 
He was fond of driving a phaeton, and paddling an 
Indian canoe : few could match his dexterity in 
rowing, or the gracefulness or variety of his rapid 
movements in skating ; whether on the Thames, 
the LifFey, the Delaware, or the Elbe, he, 

" with balance nice, 
Hung o'er the glittering steel and hissed along the ice." 

The following instance of his prowess is well 
worthy of record. While he was a young man in 
Lincolnshire, trying a hunter which he had pur- 

* For these and some other anecdotes the editor acknowledges 
his obligations to the kindness of Edward Clibborn, Esq. who 
was long an intimate friend of Mr. Rowan. 



chased, the horses of a waggon took fright and ran 
off. At first he thought it was a baggage waggon, 
but discovering that it was crowded with women 
and children, he instantly rode between it and a 
precipice to which it was rapidly approaching. His 
horse was killed by the shock ; but he succeeded in 
stopping the waggon by twisting its chains round 
his arm, and resisting its motion with all his 
strength. His arm was dreadfully lacerated, but 
he felt compensated by the approbation which such 
an act of generous self-devotion drew from her 
whose praise he valued most, and who was soon to 
become his bride. 

Though he had no delight in the chace, nor any 
great predilection for horses, he was an accomplish- 
ed rider. Notwithstanding, he had the misfortune, 
at an advanced period of life, to be thrown from 
his horse while going in a retinue to visit king 
Geoi'ffe the Fourth when in Ireland. His friends 
seeing him fall, ran to his assistance, and on hear- 
ing him jocosely quote a line from Homer Tra- 

" He fell, the halfpence rattled in his pocket," 

concluded he had sustained no injury. But it was 
soon discovered that his arm was broken. The 
house of a friend was near, and surgical aid was 
immediately procured. Rowan, regardless of the 
pain, and fearing that the rumour of his fall might 
reach Mrs. Rowan and the rest of his family, who 
were approaching in an open carriage, seated him- 


self in a window, that by being seen he might pre- 
vent any unnecessary alarm ; a striking proof, as 
has been well observed by one who was dear to 
him, " how well he could blend the most thought- 
ful tenderness with manly fortitude. 5 ' He had a 
great fondness for some animals, particularly dogs. 
After mentioning the fate of one which had been 
pursued and killed under suspicion of being mad, 
he adds, " This melancholy event reminds me of 
poor Vite, and almost makes me determine never 
again to encourage a dog to love and accompany 
me." His canine favourites were commonly sup- 
posed to be of the wolf-dog species ; but erroneously, 
as Edward Clibborn, Esq. can testify that they 
were Danish hounds, a keen-scented, quick -running, 
sheep-killing race, and in other respects very 
troublesome. When walking in the streets he 
would call them to him familiarly by name, and 
sometimes imitate their language by barking at 
them in a very low tone. 

In Rowan's character were blended many of the 
best virtues, with a due share of human imperfec- 
tion. The great tendency of his mental constitu- 
tion was a love of popularity — nimium gaudens 
popularibus auris ; and this fostered that taste for 
politics which had been early implanted in his 
mind, and which " grew with his growth, and 
strengthened with his strength." He seems to have 
been a believer in the doctrine of necessity, as he 
affirms that " natural opinions, proceeding perhaps 
from some organization of what is called soul or 



mind, cannot be altered or given up at the com- 
mand of another."' 1 He speaks also of acting under 
the influence of opinions and feelings over which 
he had no controul. Yet in his affair with Cob- 
bett, and in some other affairs, he acted unques- 
tionably under great self-command, and more, as 
he would himself have expressed it, in the charac- 
ter of " man polite than man savage." His con- 
duct in America was discreet and prudent, inso- 
much that he enjoyed the friendship of many men 
of the most opposite parties. As to his views of 
the American character, they accord with those of 
many distinguished travellers. But none knew 
better than he how to distinguish between the true 
stock of nobility and what he called " the stunted 
underwood of aristocracy His education, man- 
ners, and habits were all so different from those of 
some classes among whom he was thrown, that it 
would be surprising had he not felt impatience and 
disgust at their familiarity. Ill could he brook the 
forward and inquisitive impertinence with which he 
was sometimes assailed ; and with slaveholders he 
could have no sympathy. At the same time, none 
could estimate more highly what was truly estima- 
ble among his American friends. For such men 
as Csesar Rodney, Tilton, and Poole he entertained 
high esteem, and cherished a lasting affection — 
sentiments warmly reciprocated ; for by them he 
was remembered with as much kindness as if he 
had been a near and valued relative ; — and deserv- 
edly so, for in some instances he manifested a zeal 


and intrepidity of friendship that are rarely paral- 
leled, certainly never surpassed, as is amply attested 
by his journey of five hundred miles to see Rod- 
ney when he was sick, and his attendance as a 
*• ministering angel" on Poole when in the yellow 

His struggles for independence while in America 
were highly laudable, though his speculations were 
unfortunate. " In a state of abject dependence,' 
says he, " I will not live, while I can clean boots in 
an alley. 11 

" Thy spirit, Independence, let me share, 
Lord of the lion heart and eagle eye !" 

He shared the spirit, and had he been less generous 
or more economical, he might also have shared the 
matter. He was neither an epicure nor a gambler ; 
nor was he addicted to any expensive pleasure. 
He could be contented with a crust of bread, and 
live for months on the coarsest American fare; but 
he could not restrain the impulses of a generous 
disposition, and the consequence was frequent em- 
barrassment, with the necessity of drawing on his 
best friend at home. Such was his sympathy 
with suffering, that it not unfrequently led him 
into the error of thinking that all sufferers were 
necessarily right, and that their tales were true ; 
and hence the applications to him for relief were 

While in exile he was in the receipt of £300 
per annum ; and it would appear from the fre^ 



quency and magnitude of remittances to him, that 
he received much more. His speculations in busi- 
ness, though highly meritorious as to their object, 
were, from unavoidable circumstances, exceedingly 
unfortunate. Though he had ceased, as he jocu- 
larly tells Mrs. Rowan, to be a gentleman and 
had become a cotton dyer, the gentleman was a cha- 
racter of which he could not be divested. As some 
one has said of Virgil, that in his labours as a far- 
mer he scatters his manure like a gentleman ; so 
may it be said of Rowan, that in every condition 
he maintained a similar character. Of him it may 
be affirmed as of Aristippus, 

".Omnis Aristippum decuit color, et status, et res; 
Tentantem majora, fere prsesentibus asquuui." 


" Yet Aristippus every dress became 2 
In every various change of life the same ; 
And though he aimed at things of higher kind, 
Yet to the present held an ecpial mind." 


By his countrymen he was always regarded as a 
patriot, persevering and consistent to the last in 
his wishes and endeavours to meliorate the condition 
of Ireland; though, as he lamented, he was "unfor- 
tunately under weigh when he should have been at 
anchor. 55 He got the start of the age, and by his 
anxiety to precipitate, for a time only retarded, the 
progress of reform. 

Though desirous to promote the benefit of all, he 
did not forget nor overlook individual interests in 



visionary projects of general utility, but did what 
he found practicable on a small scale ; and which, 
had his means been commensurate with his wishes, 
he would have done on the most extensive. 

In private life he was social and domestic, an 
early riser, temperate in his habits, and, when not 
provoked to choler, bland, courteous, amiable, and 
capable of winning and retaining the most devoted 
friendships, as he experienced in no ordinary degree 
in many trying circumstances. 

As a husband, he was constant, fond, studious 
of meriting the esteem of his wife, by whose judg- 
ment he often suffered himself to be directed, 
and of whose matronly virtues he always express- 
ed the highest appreciation. His letters to her 
are replete with sentiments of grateful and tender 
endearment ; and never did Ulysses pant more 
eagerly to return to his chaste Penelope, than he 
to the fond partner of his affections. 

Of their ten children, eight were born prior to 
his exile, the two younger while he remained in 
Germany. No father could be more affectionate, — 
none more anxious for the best interests of his 
children. During his absence in America they 
occupied much of his thoughts ; and no small share 
of the sufferings he endured was caused by the 
fear that he had rendered them an irreparable 
injury, by bringing his estates into jeopardy. To 
his eldest son William he addressed several let- 
ters, giving him excellent advice both as to his 
studies and his conduct. He speaks of them all in 



terms of fondness, and often did he send them 
sundry tokens of his parental affection. 

Though his passion for politics was strong and 
invincible, his taste and pursuits were by no means 
confined to political subjects. He was a good 
mathematician, and familiar with the best Roman 
classics. He not only read and made extracts 
from various literary works, but sometimes in- 
dulged in the pleasure of translating from French 
authors such passages as he admired. Though 
"no naturalist," as he says of himself, he was 
fond of various branches of Natural History. He 
took great interest in the proceedings of the Dub- 
lin Royal Society, and having access to their house 
by the rear of his garden in Leinster-street, he 
was a constant visitor there, — and there in his 
latter days did he spend much of his time. He 
had also a library, and a laboratory of his own, 
containing chemical, electric, and galvanic appa- 
ratus, with weighing machines, and divers philo- 
sophical instruments. He was always addicted to 
mechanics, and delighted in experiments. Print- 
ing, lithography, and drawing afforded him occu- 
pation and amusement. He got a small printing- 
press, and printed copies of such short poems 
and other compositions as he wished to distribute 
among his friends. He com menced both the print- 
ing and the lithographing of his autobiography, but 
had not proceeded beyond a few pages before he 
relinquished it, to be completed by other hands. 
Had he devoted himself exclusively to any one 




branch of science or the arts, he might have arrived 
at excellence, but his pursuits were too varied to 
allow him to attain to superiority in any. 

To those who have paid attention to the study 
of Phrenology, the following communication on the 
organical developement of Mr. Kowan's head may 
prove not unacceptable. It has been kindly fur- 
nished at the editor's request, by his young friend 
John Armstrong, Esq. Barrister at Law, — who, to 
the stores of a richly furnished mind, adds Phreno- 
logy, a study which he has cultivated with attention 
and success. He writes, — 

" I had several opportunities of examining phrenologi- 
cally the head of the late A. H. Rowan m his life time, and 
in compliance with your wishes have lately tested the 
accuracy of the impressions then left upon my mind, by 
reference to the authentic bust in my possession — accu- 
rately modelled, I believe by an Italian artist. The most 
remarkable characteristic is love of approbation, which 
is decidedly larger in proportion to the whole brain than 
in any other individual I have ever examined ; combative- 
ness is very large, as are also benevolence, hope, conscien- 
tiousness, or the love of justice, adhesiveness, or affection 
for friends. Firmness and ideality full ; constructiveness 
very full. The observing faculties are much more de- 
veloped than the reflective, indicating a philosophical 
turn of mind, more mechanical and experimental than 
metaphysical ; and amongst those faculties, eventuality 
and color are very full ; but the developement is also 
remarkable for the smallness and comparative deficiency 
of certain important organs. Cautiousness,, 
acquisitiveness, veneration small; self-esteem moderate; 
x 2 



concentrativeness remarkably small. This deficiency of 
seer etiven ess, self-esteem, and concentrativeness , when 
considered in reference to the preceding powerful mani- 
festations of certain other faculties, particularly benevo- 
lence, adhesiveness^ and combativeness, indicates a cha- 
racter capable certainly of great actions, but which will be 
the result of unguarded individual impulses, more than of 
combined and concentrated efforts prudently and perse- 
veringly directed to one great end." 

Whatever the reader may think of the subject 
of phrenology, there was assuredly a wonderful 
harmony between the phrenological indications and 
the real character. 

And now the Editor must take leave of the gen- 
tle reader, and conclude a task which has been car- 
ried on amidst various interruptions, and frequent 
indispensible claims on his time and attention. 
Happy shall he feel if it give any satisfaction to 
those who have expressed an interest in the sub- 
ject, and particularly to her who regarded its per- 
formance as a trust which she was bound to dis- 
charge, in compliance with the wishes of a beloved 
father, to whom her filial affection and tender assi- 
duities rendered her deservedly dear. 



[Referred to iu the note to page 447, and extracted from the 
Northern Whig of 25th August, 1834.] 

" Gavin William Rowan Hamilton, Esq. eldest son 
of Archibald Hamilton Rowan, Esq. was bom at Paris on 
the 4th of March, 1783. In 1801 he entered the navy 
as midshipman, in his Majesty's ship Lion, Captain 
Mitford, with whom he made a voyage to China. In 
1803 he was on board the Argo; and, in the course of 
that year, was at the capture of St. Lucie and Tobago. 
In 1804 he changed to the Tiger, belonging to Lord 
Nelson's and Collingwood's fleets, and in that and the 
two following years was frequently engaged with the 
enemy on the coast of the Mediterranean. In 1807 he 
volunteered to land with the seamen before Alexandria, 
and was engaged in the attack on the lines and capture 
of that place. On the 30th of March, he commanded 
the party of seamen at the assault on Rosetta, and was 
severely wounded in recovering a gun which had fallen 
into the hands of the enemy. He was promoted to the 
rank of lieutenant in 1809; and, on the 24th of Octo- 
ber, the Tiger formed part of the squadron which destroy- 
ed the Robuste of eighty-four guns, bearing the flag of 
Rear Admiral Boudain, and the Lion of seventy-four 
guns, and drove on shore the Boree seventy-four, and a 
French frigate. On the 31st of October, in the same 
year, he attacked with a number of boats the French 
convoy in the bay of Rosas ; which, although protected 



by a frigate-built ship, mounting sixteen guns, a man- 
of-war of fourteen, and two others of ten and eighteen, 
as well as by the batteries on shore and two French 
battalions, the whole of the vessels were either taken or 

"In the year 1811 his enterprising bravery was re- 
warded by the appointment of commander to the Onyx, 
in which year he also commanded the British ves- 
sels attached to a Spanish expedition, under General 
Blake, in order to effect a landing at Huelva, for which 
he received the thanks of the Spanish government. He 
was afterwards appointed to command British vessels in 
the river Guadiana, but was recalled to Cadiz in June, and 
sent to England with despatches, strongly recommended 
to the notice of the Lords Commissioners of the Admi- 
ralty, by Rear Admiral Sir Richard Keats. He was next 
appointed to command the flotilla in defence of Cadiz ; 
and in 1812, being raised to the rank of post captain, and 
having obtained the command of the Termagant, he was 
again employed on the coast of Spain, assisting the Spa- 
niards against the French ; during whichhe destroyed twelve 
batteries and towers, one French privateer, and captured 
another ; and was at the taking of Almeida, Almunecar, 
Nerja, and several other small towns on the coast. He 
also commanded the landing parties which drove the 
French out of Villa Joyosa and Navia, destroyed the bat- 
teries, and spiked the guns. In 1813 he was appointed 
to the Rainbow, and employed on the coast of Italy ; 
during which he took and destroyed twenty-four of the 
enemy's vessels, at the capture of Viareggio ; and, having 
landed with the parties of seamen, was wounded at the 
attack on Leghorn. On the 17th of April, 1814, he 
also commanded a party of seamen on shore at the cap- 
ture of Genoa. In the same year he was appointed to 



the Havaimah, and employed in Chesapeak Bay, at the 
attack on Baltimore, where he captured and destroyed 
thirty-nine of the enemy's vessels ; he also went with the 
expedition of boats under Captain Barry up the Rappa- 
hannoc, landed and attacked the enemy on the banks of 
that river, and took their colours and guns. He was sub- 
sequently employed in the Mediterranean ; and in 1816 
brought home Governor Wilks and family from St. He- 
lena, when, the vessel being out of commission, he 
returned to Ireland. 

" In 1817 he married Miss Cockburn, daughter to 
Lieutenant-General Sir George Cockburn; and in 1820, 
having obtained the command of the Cambrian, he took 
out Lord Strangford as ambassador to Constantinople ; 
from which, until the return of his vessel to England in 
1824, he was principally employed in the Levant in pro- 
tecting the Greeks, to whose cause he was devotedly 
attached, from the oppressions and barbarities of the 
Turks. In this difficult undertaking he was eminently 
successful ; but not satisfied with merely affording them 
every protection which his situation permitted him, he 
expended considerable sums out of his private fortune, 
in emancipating numbers who had fallen into the hands 
of the Turks, and otherwise assisting them ; and thus 
obtained a greater influence over them than, perhaps, 
any other officer in the British navy. On the Cambrian's 
arrival in England, she was immediately re-commissioned 
and again placed under his command ; and his return to 
his former station was hailed by the Greeks — by whom he 
was now perfectly idolized — as a certain pledge of the most 
favourable disposition towards them on the part of the Bri- 
tish government. In the battle of Navarino, although un- 
able to take the place assigned to the Cambrian, on account 



of being at some distance protecting the Greeks on shore 
at the time the signals for action were made, he again 
acted a most distinguished part. His vessel was, how- 
ever, in a few months after unfortunately lost, by running 
foul of the Isis, commanded by Sir Thomas Staines, with 
whom she was in company, and striking on the island of 
Carabousa. On his return, he was, as a matter of course, 
subjected to a trial by court-martial, but having been 
most honourably acquitted, was shortly after appointed to 
the Druid, on the South American station, from which he 
returned in 1832, bringing home the crew of the Thetis, 
which had been wrecked on Cape Bon. In the course of 
a few months after he resigned the command of his vessel, 
on account of the delicate state of his health, and gave up 
all idea of going back to sea ; and his return, in February 
last, to his castle in Killileagh, county of Down, which he 
now determined to make his permanent residence, was 
celebrated with illuminations and every kind of rejoicing 
by his father's delighted tenantry. However, an unfortu- 
nate accident which occurred on the night of his arrival, 
by his being thrown from a jaunting-car, suddenly put an 
end to the rejoicings, and had then nearly terminated his 
valuable life; but soon after being able to travel to 
Dublin, he there recovered his ordinary health, and return- 
ed with his family, consisting of Mrs. Hamilton, two 
sons, and a daughter, to Killileagh, where he continued 
to reside with them until the 3rd instant, when he pro- 
ceeded to Dublin, with his sons, on their return to school, 
and thence to RathcofTey, county of Kildare, on a visit to 
his venerable father; there he was suddenly taken ill, 
and expired at four o'clock on Sunday evening last, (17th 
of August, 1834,) of water on the chest, in the arms of 
his eldest son, an extremely fine lad of about sixteen 



years of age, who had fortunately remained a few days 
Jonger with him than he had originally intended. 

" From the above brief summary of Captain Hamilton's 
splendid public services, which will long be remembered 
with gratitude by his country, it must be evident that the 
British Navy has been deprived by his death of one of 
her brightest ornaments, and its officers of one of their 
most courageous, generous, and noble-minded brothers in 
arms. To his afflicted family his loss is irreparable. He 
was the fondest of husbands, of fathers, of sons, and of 
brothers. To the inhabitants of Killileagh his death is a 
subject of the deepest and most heartfelt regret. On the 
arrival of the melancholy news, every shop in the town 
was immediately closed, and all business suspended. 
From his well known attachment to the seat of his fore- 
fathers, his permanent residence among them had long been 
looked forward to by the inhabitants, as the commence- 
ment of a new era in the prosperity of the town. Nor, 
during the short time in which he had been spared to 
them, were they disappointed. To every society, and 
.project for its advancement, he became a ready supporter, 
and liberal subscriber ; and, in his magisterial capacity, 
by the most determined opposition to every act of petty 
tyranny and oppression, — the confidence of the people 
in the local administration of justice had been completely 
established, w r hen all their hopes were thus suddenly blasted 
by his premature death ; and his friends and society de- 
prived of one of the bravest and most patriotic, and at the 
same time most affectionate and gentle-hearted of men. 

" L." 


When Mr. Rowan, in 1802, wrote to the state pri- 
soners mentioned in page 434, offering them his services, 
he received the following letter in reply from Thomas 
Addis Emmet, who of all the expatriated Irishmen was the 
most eminently distinguished for his talents and virtues. 

" My dear friend, 

" I received your kind letter yesterday, just as I 
was sitting down to dinner, which prevented my answer- 
ing it directly. Since then I have shown it to Dowling, 
Chambers, and some others, with whom you were for- 
merly connected in intimacy. They all desire me to 
assure you of their affection and esteem. We were in 
some measure apprised of your situation, and of the in- 
jury you might possibly sustain by holding intercourse 
with us ; we therefore voluntarily deprived ourselves of 
the pleasure we should enjoy in your society, and declined 
calling on you directly on our arrival. For my part it 
would give me the utmost pain if your friendship towards 
me were to lead you into any embarrassment, or subject 
you to any misrepresentation on a point of such material 
importance to yourself and family. I am certain that if I 
really stood in need of any act of kindness from you, it 
would be instantly done ; but at present that is in no 
respect the case. 



" My health and spirits are extremely good in conse- 
quence of relaxation from business ; both are even much 
improved. As to my future destination, you will I dare 
sav condemn it ; for I know your dislike to America. 
But with the view I take of Europe, I have scarcely an 
alternative. I shall not go out big with expectation, and 
shall therefore, perhaps, escape disappointment ; but 
America, with all its disadvantages, opens to me the 
fairest field of honorable employment, and it possesses a 
charm in my eyes, which I look for in vain in this 
quarter of the globe. My stay here will probably be very 
short, as I only wish to let Mrs. Emmet recruit after a 
two years' imprisonment and a very fatiguing journey, 
and, if I can, to receive some letters. From hence I 
shall probably go into Holland, and perhaps, if I find it 
advisable, into France, to meet my three little boys that 
are still in Ireland. This is in fact all I can say of my 
own intentions, which are fa' from settled. 

" Wishing you and yours every prosperity and happiness, 
" I remain, my dear friend, 

u most sincerelv yours, 

«T. A. EMMET. 
" To A. H. Rowan, Esq. Altona. 
"Jtdg 8th, 1802." 

This letter was followed by another after a long inter- 
val of nearly twenty-five years. 

New Fork, January Sth, 1827. 

" My dear old friend, 

For, as I am feeling the advances of age, I pre- 
sume you have not remained in statu quo for the last five 
and twenty years. I received your letter by Mr. Mac- 




ready, and thank you for it. Many circumstances pre- 
vented my answering- it until now, which, it is impossible 
to detail on paper ; but, be assured, no indifference or 
coldness of feeling towards you had any share in causing 
the delay. Mr. Macready is a gentleman whose talents 
and worth have gained him very high consideration here, 
and who has entirely justified the warm recommendations 
he was the bearer of from Europe. 

" I dare not write to you about Ireland, though pro- 
bably if we were together we should talk of little else. I 
remember the day when I fancied letters might be inter- 
cepted : if such a thing could happen now, a letter from 
T. A. E. to A. H. R. filled with Irish politics would be 
a bonne bouche for a secretary. America is not what you 
saw it, nor what even your sanguine mind could anticipate ; 
it has shot up in strength and prosperity beyond the most 
visionary calculation. It has great destinies, and I have 
no doubt will ameliorate the condition of man throughout 
the world. When you were here, party raged with a 
fiend-like violence, which may lead you to misjudge of 
what you may occasionally meet with in an American 
newspaper, should you ever look into one ; whether the 
demon be absolutely and for ever laid, I cannot under- 
take to say ; but there is at present no more party con- 
troversy than ought to be expected, and perhaps ought 
to exist in so free a country ; and sure I am it does not 
interfere with the general welfare and happiness : indeed 
I think it never can, their roots are struck so deep. Of 
n^self and family I need only say we are all extremely 
well. I have succeeded better than I thought possible 
when I set foot on this shore. I still enjoy my health 
and faculties. The companion of my youth and of my 
sufferings does the same. We are surrounded by eight 



children and twelve grand-children, with the prospect of 
steady and progressive increase in the American Yatio. 

" I pray God you have had your share of the happiness 
of this life. 

" Your sincere and affectionate friend, 

* Archibald Hamilton Rowan, Esq." 

Mr. Emmet did not long survive the date of this 
letter. In 1829 Mr. Rowan received from William 
Sampson, the well known Irish exile, an epistle in which, 
after expatiating on Mr. Rowan's "honorable principles ;" 
on Mrs. Rowan's kindness to his wife, and on the state of 
Irish politics, he continues thus : — 

" You have, I presume, heard of the death of Thomas 
Addis Emmet, and probably of the extraordinary honors 
paid to his memory; how a monument was voted by the 
Bar of New York, which has since b een established in 
the Court-room where he fell. A eulogy was also voted 
which De Witt Clinton, Governor of this state, had under- 
taken to deliver, and by the same resolutions I was re- 
quested, as an incentive to the younger members of the 
profession, and as a model for their imitation, to write a 
history of his life. I could not refuse a task so honor- 
able, and I accepted of it. But I was soon after seized 
with an aguish complaint, which returned from time to 
time, and so far debilitated me that I was unable to 
make any strenuous exertion. I had besides the affliction 
of losing my son-in-law, Captain Tone, son of one that 
you knew well, and husband of my daughter, now my onlv 
surviving child. This obliged me to lay aside the work, 
but with returning health I have now resumed it. 



I was greatly disappointed also in applying to the family 
of my deceased friend, in finding that I could have not 
the least assistance from any of them. Mrs. Emmet, who 
loved her husband most tenderly, and did him honor 
whilst he lived, was affected by his death in such a man- 
ner that she cannot speak upon the subject of his early 
life, and his children were too young to know any thing 
of it ; several of them indeed were born here. That por- 
tion of Emmet's life past in this city affords little incident. 
It was entirely absorbed in the duties of his profession and 
in a course of unexampled industry. He was looked 
upon with admiration for his abilities, learning, and elo- 
quence, and universally beloved for his virtues and his 
manner of living, and great as was the tribute paid to him, 
he deserved it all. He was a shining honor to his coun- 
try. There exists amongst all here the greatest curiosity 
to know the particulars of his former life, and indeed 
every thing concerning him. I have been trying to 
make arrangements for the publication of the work in 
London. You were one of the men Emmet most es- 
teemed, and now that the events of those days are matters 
of past and useful history, I should request of you to assist 
me with some account of him and his family, his father, 
his brother Temple, his early, studies, travels, first entry 
into public life, and to point me out where such details 
are to be looked for. You, it is true, had nothing to do 
with the rebellion in Ireland, nor do I expect any thing 
of that kind from you; but any letters of his, however 
trivial or familiar the subject, may go to satisfy the 
friends under whose commission I act. I shall, if I can 
find one, send you a copy of a eulogy upon him by Dr. 
Mitchell, whose name, probably whose person, you must 
know. Mr. De Witt Clinton, late Governor of this state, 
one of the most distinguished of our statesmen had un- 



dertaken to fulfil the vote of the bar, and would have de- 
livered a eulogy upon him, but he was called upon to 
pay hi3 great debt before the day appointed ; and it is 
urgent with me to discharge this duty before a similar 
casualty should put a bar to my performance for ever. 
I owe much on my own account to my professional 
brethren here, as you will see by an article which I forward 
to you, containing their kind and affectionate adieus when 
some years ago, after the marriage of my daughter, I went 
to reside in George-town, D. C. Since my son-in-law's 
death I have again fixed my residence in this city. I 
have seen a book advertised, called the history of the 
leaders of the rebellion in 1798. Is there any thing in 
it that could help me in the biography of Emmet ? 
There never yet was fair play nor justice shown to the 
sufferers in that unhappy struggle. I often wonder how 
I myself, and other men given to peace entirely, should 
have been driven from less to more, by mere feeling for 
others, to desperation, and almost to self-devotion, for I 
was always among the least sanguine and backward, till no 
neutrality was left, and then, even then, there was nothing 
to warrant any part of what was done to me latterly. 

" I had indeed taken my ground, but if law was to be 
had, and I was willing to chicane, I should have as 
good actions of false imprisonment as ever man had. 
But now I am for truth, and no other revenge. It is so 
long since I have encountered any hostility or ill office, 
or envious or angry words from any man, that I may 
truly say I live in charity with all mankind, in which 
blessed spirit, &c. as they say at the end of all sermons, 
may we all live. 

" Your sincere and obliged friend, 


New York, April 29th, 1829. 


Notice respecting the Elm Tree under which William Penn 
concluded his first treaty with the Indians. 

At Kensington, on the river Delaware, immediately 
above the city, there stood a venerable elm tree, which 
according to tradition, was the particular spot where the 
great and good Legislator of Pennsylvania held his first 
treaty with the Indians, — a treaty of 'unbroken faith' 
though unsanctioned by an oath — the principles of Wil- 
liam Penn forbidding this kind of ratification/ It is 
the subject of a fine picture from the pencil of our cele- 
brated countryman, West. 

A few years since, this venerable tree was blown down in 
a storm ; when some of the wood was procured by those who 
have a value for such reminiscences, and manufactured 
into cups, boxes, &c. ; one of which I presume was that 
mentioned in the letter. The first treaty with the natives 
was held soon after the arrival of William Penn, in 
1682 ; and during the time he then staid in his province, 
he had many of these conferences with them, in which, 
by his justice, and the benevolence of his conduct towards 
them, he gained their entire confidence, and laid the 
foundation of his colony in peace, instead of ' by the 
sword.' And the example which it has afforded of pros- 
perity following on such a foundation, aided by the 
liberal spirit in which he governed, and in which all his 
institutions were planned, well deserves to have its 
weight with succeeding legislators. 

The Indian name for that part of the country where 
Kensington now stands, was Shackaminon. 



This little account is written for the information of A. 
Hamilton Rowan, Esq., by one who recollects with 
pleasure the agreeable hours she formerly passed in his 
society, with her late dear husband. 


STENTOH, 22nd of 10th Month, 1828. 

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" And there was one whose master mind 

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"When flashed his eye, 'twas sweet to trace 

The eagle-daring of his race ! 

And he who wakes the minstrel shell 

His virtues knew and loved them well: 

A mind with classic lore imbued, 

A heart that prized his country's good, 

The first to raise the patriot band 

"When rose the valiant of the land. 

Fair freedom traced his name on history's page, 

Her bravest knight in youth, her steadiest friend in age. 


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